TV Dinners Aldi Style

I recently discovered that the budget supermarket chain Aldi does a range of chilled as opposed to frozen ready meals (“Fertiggerichte”). You just bung them in the microwave for a few minutes and hey presto, dinner is served.

I know this is not a new idea – we Brits were the pioneers of TV dinners. What sets these apart is that each day a number of different options are offered. The portions are enough even for a larger size bloke like me, and they are quick, convenient, filling and above all, typically German. Oh, and the price is really good too.

The selection of meals offered changes on a very regular basis. The picture shows gammon (“Kasseler”) and sausages which were very tasty indeed, although I did add the mustard myself! Other typical dishes include kale stew (“Grünkohl”), roast pork or turkey as well as the more regular dishes such as pasta and Bratwurst.

German Food versus British Food

DinnerFor those foodies out there, the Local (an online newspaper) ran an article pitching several well known British dishes against their German counterparts. It was a close match, but the Brit nosh won the game 7 to 6.

Personally speaking, I think Shepherds Pie beats Sauerbraten hands down. Also the Käsespätzle versus Cheese on Toast was a bit of a home goal, especially if the latter has a dollop of Branston Pickle on it! And don’t even get me started on the numerous merits of the great British fry up!

You can see the full article by clicking here. How do you find German food compared to food from your home country?

Mosel Regional Cuisine – Winzerteller

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People often ask me what typical regional cuisine is in the Mosel valley, but it is a very hard question to answer. What does seem to pop up regularly on menus in the eateries along the river is the “Winzerteller” which literally translates to “Vintner’s plate”. It’s not unique to the region, as I know such things are popular in other states such as Bavaria (where it is called “Brotzeit”), but it is the perfect accompaniment to the local Riesling wine.

As you can see, it is basically just a wooden platter with a selection of meats, cheese or both. The meats usually include cured ham and sliced sausage – often homemade – such as black pudding (“Blutwurst”) and liver sausage “Leberwurst”).

The platter in the picture is from a restaurant in Zell (I will publish the name when I remember it!) and includes cured ham and sausage made from local wild boar (“Wildschwein”). It is one of my favourite meals.

Fried Mosel Eel

For those of you interested in Mosel regional cooking, here is a recipe which may not appeal to everyone but I personally quite like – fried eel. Eel is one of those foods that people (Cockneys excepted) unfairly dismiss without even trying, but I say if you ever get the chance, give it a whirl.

Ingredients (German names of ingredients are also shown):

  • 500 g Eel (“Aal”)
  • 1 Onion (“Zwiebel”)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fish seasoning (“Fischgewürz”)
  • 125 g Flour (“Mehl”)
  • 1 Egg (“Ei”)
  • 200 ml Wine (white is best. Water or beer could be used instead)
  • Oil for frying

Preparation:

Take the eel, cut into portions and season with a little salt. Poach the eel pieces in boiling water into which some fish spice and pepper have been added to taste. Whilst the eel is cooking, prepare a batter by whisking together the flour, egg, wine and two teaspoons of the oil. When the fish has cooked for 30 minutes, remove from the cooking liquid, drain thoroughly and dip in the batter. Finally, fry the battered eel pieces in oil until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve.

(Recipe adapted from the recipe section of the Mosel.de website)

Germany and Vegetarianism?

One thing that struck me when I first came to Germany was that it is not exactly a safe haven for vegetarians.

Pork features in so many dishes including the humble fried potato, and non-meat eaters choices are severely limited given menus usually only offer huge slabs of animal fried in fat from another.

So I had to laugh when I read this article in The Local. Given what is illustrated in that, I am now really grateful I am a meat eater!

“Festlicher Weinpudding” – Festive Wine Pudding

Here is another intriguing recipe using Riesling (or any other) wine, and despite it being called “festive” there is no reason why it cannot be enjoyed at any time.

Being a useless cook myself, I have to admit that I have not attempted to make this one yet, but if anyone does I would love to hear if it was a success!

You will need:

  • 750 ml Riesling or other white wine
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar
  • 50 grams ground almonds
  • Cinnamon and sugar to finish

Briskly beat the wine with the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla sugar and starch over a gentle heat until thickened – do not overheat as it will scramble! Beat the egg white until stiff and fold in the almonds.

Pour the egg yolk mixture into a greased baking dish and top with the egg white mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes at 200 ° C. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

(Adapted from the recipe the German imosel website which can be found here).

“Weinsuppe mit Pilzen” – Wine Soup With Mushrooms

Here is an interesting recipe I found on the German website “Römische Weinstraße“. I have not tried it yet but if anyone does give it a go I would be interested in knowing how it tastes.

Ingredients (for 4 people)

  • 20 grams butter
  • 250 grams fresh mushrooms
  • 500 ml chicken broth
  • 250 ml cream
  • 250 ml Mosel Riesling
  • 2-3 teaspoons starch (such as corn flour)
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg, chopped fresh herbs

Slice the mushrooms and fry in butter. Meanwhile, combine the chicken broth and cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes to reduce. Whisk the starch into the wine and add to the broth/cream mixture, stirring continuously. Simmer, stirring regularly, until thickened. Add the sautéed mushrooms and season the soup with the chopped herbs, salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

 

Dining with dogs (Reblogged from Spoonfuls of Germany)

It was not the response I expected: Years ago when I still lived in Germany, I took a Canadian friend who was visiting me in Frankfurt to a restaurant highly regarded for its German cuisine. I was glad I had made a reservation, it was Sunday evening and the restaurant was packed. My Canadian friend, […]

http://spoonfulsofgermany.com/2015/08/20/dining-with-dogs/

Please note this is a reblog from Spoonfuls of Germany, which is a great site and I do recommend you check it out.

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