Lentils are high in plant proteins and as such an important constituent of a low-meat or meat-free diet. In traditional German cuisine they normally appeared in stews with lumps of bacon and wurst. Nowadays they experience a much more creative treatment and also come in many different kinds.
Last weekend my greengrocer on ulitsa Tsar Ivan Asen II had perfectly juicy and sweet peaches, probably the last ones for this year, that seemed to be just made for a nice cake. Searching the internet for a recipe I came across a recipe with rosemary, almost exactly what I was looking for.
Recently, I was desperately looking for a Bulgarian supplier of salty caramel sirup. In vain, as it ultimately turned out. Instead I flew it in from Germany for tons of money and was even disappointed: To my taste, the original sirup by Monin is to thin, the caramel is not browned long enough and it lacks a pinch of salt. I started experimenting, and as it turned out, making the sirup at home is ridiculously simple at 10 percent of the costs and the result is in my humble opinion not at all second to the convenience product.
The best way to cook a fish is not to cook it. Tuna seared in a pepper crust is a candidate for the second place. Crispy and hot from the outside, raw fish inside, and a thin layer of lukewarm, beautifully soft cooked tuna creates a remarkable combination of different flavors and textures.
Life without meat is easy-going but living without Wiener Schnitzel is something of a challenge, especially in the classical combination with a lukewarm potato salad, an Austro-German specialty, simple and delicious. The good news is that among all meat replacements in the supermarkt shelves, the vegan schnitzels are surprisingly good. But at the end of the day it is still a convenience product, a grab bag of mostly unknown constitution, nothing that you want to have on your table on a regular basis.
Fried squid rings - also called calamares or calamari - like most seafood dishes, are prepared in no time at all. Surprisingly, many people buy them as a convenience product with analog breading although preparing them fresh is very little work and produces way better results.
Raspberry ice cream used to be available in printed form only, at least in my childhood. In many a children’s book it was a ubiquitous synonym for an ideal summer. But life is not always a bowl of cherries. Not a single ice cream parlor in Cologne had raspberry ice cream on offer those days.
The photograph of Black Pepper Tofu had inspired me to buy “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi. I tried the tofu recipe right away, but it did not immediately become one of my favorites: Too much tofu for my taste, not enough vegetables and way too much black pepper. And either chillies should dominate or black pepper but not both. However, all other recipes from “Plenty” that I have tried out so far were fantastic, I can absolutely recommend the book.