My maternal grandparents – Omi and Opa – would arrive from Germany in a automobile laden with salami, pâtés, pickles, bread, biscuits, sweets, jams, meat, sauerkraut, butter… you identify it and I’m positive they’d it packed in. Everything within the automobile was wrapped in newspaper in order that it stayed cool, or frozen in some circumstances, for the journey to Wales. We made a human chain and handed the bundles to one another alongside the driveway to the kitchen desk, till the automobile was empty and we may all lastly sit down. Opa would unwrap the rye bread and slice it thinly; Omi would unfold the candy unsalted butter, then we’d all assist ourselves to pâté and mustard, probably gherkins.
It isn’t what we ate annually on their arrival that I recall, a lot as the sensation of affection expressed via the journey this meals had travelled. There is a superb German phrase, gemütlich, which when translated into English loosely means “cosy”, although the truth is it means far more however is difficult to place into phrases. To me it actually means feeling at house. So, wherever we’re on this planet, I attempt to make it gemütlich – and one of the best ways I do know is to do that via cooking.
My grandmother used to bake cucumbers with butter and serve them heat on the desk, strewn with dill and a splash of vinegar, and that is my model of that.
cucumbers 2, giant, peeled
unsalted butter 80g
plain flour 3 tbsp
vegetable inventory 1 litre, sizzling
vinegar from a jar of gherkins, 4 tbsp or 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
chives 4 tbsp, contemporary, finely chopped dill 2 tbsp, contemporary, finely chopped
pink peppercorns ½ tsp, crushed
Slice the cucumbers in 1/2 lengthways, scrape out the seeds, then lower them into skinny slices. Heat the butter in a big saucepan and, as soon as effervescent, add the flour. Stir and permit to brown simply barely, then add the inventory. Whisk to keep away from lumps, convey to the boil, then add the cucumber. Turn the warmth down and simmer for about 6 minutes, till the cucumber slices are translucent and tender. Now add the vinegar and chives.
Blitz the soup utilizing a blender or move it via a mouli. Be cautious, as it is rather sizzling. Taste and season accordingly. Stir within the dill, then divide the soup between your bowls. Serve with a sprinkling of chives, dill and pink peppercorns.
Buttermilk and oat rooster schnitzel
These schnitzel prepare dinner in a matter of minutes, however should be marinated for a few hours first. I are likely to marinate the rooster the evening earlier than, letting the flavours meld and the rooster turn out to be tender within the buttermilk. Marinating time apart, that is quick meals at its finest.
rooster breasts 4, skinned and boneless garlic 2 cloves, crushed
candy paprika 2 tsp
marjoram 2 tsp, dried
mustard 3 tbsp, delicate and candy
porridge oats 50g
almonds 50g, floor
baking powder ¼ tsp
plain flour 50g
sea salt 1 tsp
sunflower oil for frying
Place the rooster breasts on a chopping board and bash them till they’re 5mm thick. Put the rooster right into a shallow dish. Mix the garlic, paprika, marjoram, buttermilk and mustard in a jug, then pour this combination over the rooster. Mix every little thing collectively till evenly coated, then cowl with clingfilm and go away to marinate within the fridge for as much as 24 hours.
Take the rooster out of the fridge 1/2 an hour earlier than you wish to eat. Mix the oats, almonds, baking powder, flour and salt collectively in a shallow dish.
Heat 1cm of sunflower oil in a big frying pan. Place each bit of rooster within the flour combination, turning gently to make sure they’re utterly coated. Once the oil is sizzling, put the rooster into the frying pan and fry for 3 minutes on all sides, till golden brown. Although they need to be achieved on this time, it’s all the time good to verify that the rooster is cooked all through. Drain on kitchen paper and serve alongside a inexperienced salad.
Crispy pork stomach
This is a dish of opposites that entice: candy and bitter, crunchy and gentle, earthy and meaty. It isn’t difficult to make, however tastes as if it took numerous effort. If you select to make use of dried beans, be sure you soak them the evening earlier than.
For the pork:
pork stomach 750g (3 x 250g strips)
garlic 4 cloves, sliced in 1/2
allspice berries 10, bashed
prunes 15, pitted
white wine vinegar 2 tbsp
sunflower oil ½ tbsp
For the beans:
dried haricot beans 300g, soaked in a single day, or 600g cooked and drained
olive oil 3 tbsp
shallots 4, sliced
spring greens 300g, finely chopped
white wine vinegar 1 tbsp
sea salt and black pepper to style
Put the pork stomach right into a saucepan with the garlic, allspice berries, prunes and vinegar. Pour sufficient boiling water into the pan to simply cowl the meat (round 600ml). Bring to the boil, then flip down the warmth, cowl and simmer for an hour.
If you might be utilizing dried beans you will want to prepare dinner them whereas the pork is boiling. To do that, rinse them then place in a big saucepan and canopy with chilly water. Bring to the boil, then flip the warmth down and simmer for 1/2 an hour. Check to see if the beans are cooked by biting into 1.
After an hour, take the pork out of the saucepan and put aside on a plate. Drain the liquid although a sieve right into a jug – it will likely be used for the beans. Pick the prunes and garlic items out of the sieve, as these, too, will likely be used shortly.
Heat the olive oil in a big frying pan, then add the shallots and fry for five minutes, stirring on occasion. Add the garlic and prunes and mash them barely with the again of a wood spoon, stir, then add the greens. At this stage they may crowd the pan, however they quickly wilt down. Add 250ml of the reserved liquid and gently transfer the greens across the pan for a couple of minutes till they’ve collapsed. Now there may be extra room within the pan, add the cooked beans and the white wine vinegar. Stir every little thing collectively and switch the warmth down.
Slice the pork into little items, the thickness of a £1 coin. Heat the oil in one other pan, then add the pork and fry for about 3 minutes on all sides. Divide the beans and greens between 4 plates and high every with some crispy pork.
Rhubarb and black pepper are a great mixture. I sprinkle a little bit floor semolina on the pastry case earlier than including the fruit filling – nobody likes a soggy backside. You want a 22cm tart tin.
For the pastry:
unsalted butter 120g, at room temperature
rye flour 125g
plain flour 100g, plus additional for dusting
mild brown sugar 75g
sea salt ¼ tsp
egg 1, crushed
black pepper 1 tsp
semolina ½ tbsp, coarsely floor
For the filling:
cornflour 1½ tbsp
mild brown sugar 75g
unwaxed orange grated zest of 1/2
rhubarb 400g, lower into 1 cm chunks
For the egg wash:
egg 1, crushed with 1 tsp of milk
Preheat the oven to 200C/fuel mark 6. Grease a 22cm tart tin with butter. To make the pastry, put the flours and butter right into a mixing bowl and rub them collectively. Add the sugar and salt and blend in, then add the egg together with the pepper and knead every little thing collectively till you might have a ball of dough.
Break off 1 / 4 of the pastry and put aside. Push the remaining pastry into the underside of the ready tart tin and up the edges. Sprinkle the semolina over the pastry base.
Mix collectively the cornflour, brown sugar, orange zest and rhubarb in a bowl till each bit is evenly coated. Tip the fruit combination into the pastry-lined tart tin.
Dust a piece floor calmly with flour. Roll out the remaining pastry right into a rectangle about 20cm lengthy, then slice into 1cm broad strips. Weave the strips right into a lattice on high of the rhubarb. Brush the pastry lattice with the egg wash.
Bake within the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, till the pastry is a deep nutty brown and the fruit filling is effervescent.
Leave to chill within the tin. This tart ought to be eaten the day it’s made.
Strudel, Noodles & Dumplings, by Anja Dunk, is out now, £26. Buy it for £22.10 at theguardianbookshop.com
Anja Dunk from theguardian.com