Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bread soup - Brotsuppe

It's funny how something can sound one way in one language and another in a different one.  Bread soup.  Sounds very unexciting.  However, when you look at it in German, Brotsuppe, it looks much more appealing (although this is changing as my German is improving), but I think it's much more exciting to try something that has a 'foreign' name than trying that exact same recipe in your native language.

In any case - it's Winter so I have now moved on to the winter section of my Migros cookbook.  I did make a few changes in this recipe (and it still didn't end up looking quite like the picture but it still turned out to be a good side).

What you need:
180-200g Ruchbrot, day old (which means if you have a bread box, don't leave it in there as it will not get dry)
2 small or 1 medium sized onion (I did end up using a 2nd onion)
Peanut oil for frying the onions/bread
6 cups vegetable bouillon
nutmeg and pepper to taste
1 tsp of Anis (recipe called for 1 Tbls of caraway but I didn't have any).  Feel free to add more.  I thought it was enough to add to the flavor but I don't like licorice so didn't want to add any more.
a pinch of salt.

Cut the bread into cubes and slice the onions.  Put the oil in the pan and give it a minute to heat up.  Add the bread and onion and cook until the bread starts to turn a golden brown.  About 5/6 minutes.  Make sure your pan is big enough to hold all the bread.

Add the broth, anis and a bit of nutmeg and pepper.  Add only a very little salt.   Simmer for 20 minutes.  If you need more liquid, either add very hot water or more broth.  If you cook on too high of a temperature you will need to add a bit more.

This makes a great side dish.  And, since my soup was made out of bread, I couldn't use my bread bowls this time but I found some really cute little bowls in France yesterday (more about Mullhouse vs. Konstanz later).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thai Grilled Chicken Pizza

Yum.  So many flavors.  Admittedly I didn't make it with the spice that should have gone in to it, nor did I make the dough for the pizza, but it was still good.  The original recipe is here but below is my adaptation of it. I hope you make this, because it's fantastic!

Migros and Coop will have the majority of your ingredients, but if you can't find something one of the Asian stores will have what you need.

What you need:
For the sauce:
This is the halved recipe for the sauce as I put way too much on and also had some left over.  I did not add any of the water suggested in the original recipe either.

1/4 c peanut butter - I used smooth.  If you do, some scattered peanuts may add some yummy crunch to it.
1/4 cup hoisin sauce - available at Migros
1/8 cup of honey
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar (couldn't find mine so I used Italian white wine vinegar)
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (ingwer - usually available at bigger Migros/Coop)
1-2 tsp of minced garlic (or 1-2 cloves)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce (I used low sodium available at the Thai Store)
1/2 Tbsp fish sauce

Not used but will add to hubby's side next time: 1/2 tsp chili sauce.

For the toppings:
We grilled this weekend so I had hubby grill some extra chicken breasts and then put them in the fridge.
2 chicken breasts, sliced into bite sized pieces
Pizza dough - I used the rectangular one  - 38x25
shredded carrots (I bought the bag so I can use the leftovers for salad)
bean sprouts (mungosprossen) - again, you can use the remainder for a stir fry later on
2 green onions (scallions)
mozzarella cheese (I used the balled ones - I would buy the pearl ones next time)
1/2 a bunch of cilantro (koriander)
1/2 a lime

First, mix all the sauce ingredients into a small pan and cook until heated through - about 5 minutes.  If it is too thick, you can add a little boiling water.  (If you want to make the entire batch of sauce, you can probably refrigerate the leftovers and use it as a salad dressing or marinade for chicken later on)

Spread the sauce on the rolled out pizza dough and then layer your ingredients.
I did: sprouts, carrots, chicken, scallions and cheese.
Save the cilantro and lime for after the pizza is done.
Roughly chop the cilantro and then squeeze 1/2 a lime over the top of the pizza right before serving.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fun with breakfast

Today I thought I'd do something fun for hubby for breakfast (well lunch as I let him sleep in since he's sick).  He likes sunny side up eggs and I'm not that great at making them.  I think I get too impatient and then there is one moment of perfect eggertunity and then a second later it passes.  I am getting better though.  Apparently today when I made them, they were almost perfect (almost being that I didn't make extra toast so he could sop up the rest of the gooey egg).

What you need:
Cooking spray/butter or a non stick pan
cookie cutters (whatever shape you want)

Put the bread in the toaster and either spray or butter a frying pan.  Put the burner on medium-low.

When the toast is ready, use your chosen cookie cutter to make holes. Set the cut out part aside.

Carefully break open the egg and pour it into the shape. Put a lid on the pan and cook until the egg yolk gets a thin white film over it (the perfect moment to remove for sunny side up eggs).

If you prefer your yolk cooked (like me because I am accident prone and I can just imagine taking a bite and egg yolk going everywhere), then just carefully flip the egg and toast over for another few minutes.

Salt and Pepper to taste if desired.

I topped the egg with the cut out shapes since they didn't really look like the shapes I'd made.  I imagine if I flipped it over they would be more obvious.   In any case, hubby approved! :-)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Alper Magronen

hmmm...I made this one a while back but don't seem to have posted it.  Now that it's getting cold though I think it would be great to try again.  I thought the recipe I used tasted good, but it ended up tasting more like Scalloped Potatoes and Ham to me rather than the one I had when we went to Elm last year.

So here goes - keeping in mind that I will be changing it up a bit next time I make it :-)

What you need:
1/2 kg of potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 onions, thinly sliced (into rings, not diced)
250g macaroni
300g bacon or mushrooms (I only used bacon but I think some mushrooms would be good.  Also perhaps bigger chunks would be better)
150g mountain cheese  - I used the Bunderkaese but the original recipe suggests blending 2 cheeses.
1.5 dl of cream
 A pad of butter (enough to saute your onions in as the bacon will add more grease)
4-5 dl vegetable bouillon
nutmeg and pepper to taste

Peel and dice the potatoes. Cut the onions into rings.

Melt the butter and saute the onions, adding the bacon after 2 minutes.  Add the potatoes and continue to saute for 5-6 minutes.  Add the macaroni noodles.

Pour some bouillon into the pan - about 1/2.  When the liquid is absorbed add a little more (think risotto).  Simmer for 10 minutes total (the potatoes and pasta should then be cooked).

Mix in the cream and shredded cheeses, reserving some cheese to sprinkle on top if desired.  Season with the nutmeg and pepper.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Vegetable Lasagna

Last summer, I discovered that Coop had recipe cards and that they basically showcased a different item in a dish. They change them out seasonally and you can find them at either the front of the store or near the item being showcased.  The cards are all in German which has helped me learn a lot of words as well.  This is one of my favorites.  It is a summer recipe, but I think it works equally well for fall.  You can eat it as a main dish or as a side.

What you need: (for 2 people)
1 diced small onion
1 minced clove of garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 diced tomatoes
1/2 dl vegetable bouillon
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp basil, coarsely chopped
400 g zucchini (about 3  large ones or 4 smaller ones)
1.8 dl saucen halbrahm (runnier version of sour cream)
100 g Sbrinz cheese

Put the oil in a pan and heat it up.  Add the garlic and onion. When slightly tender, add the tomatoes for a minute or two.  Add the broth and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.

Cut the zucchini into thin slices - this is the hardest part I think.  You can use a cheese grater/mandolin or I used a potato peeler this time.  You want thin slices as these are your 'noodles'.

Lay 3 slices overlapping in a small dish.  If you have a small rectangular ramekin, they are perfect, otherwise you can use a baking dish and create little aluminium foil pockets in them for the individual 'lasagnas'.

On your first layer of zucchini spoon out about 3/4 of a Tbsp of the tomato/onion mixture. On top of that about 3/4 of a Tbsp of the saucen halbrahm. Place some Sbrinz on top of that.  Using the rolled kind, I unrolled them (they are made of 2 slices) and put the 2 slices on top.

Repeat this for a total of 3 layers (more if you have leftovers).  If you have some rolls left, place those on top and bake for 30 minutes at 200 C.

Either serve in the ramekin or let sit a minute and transfer to a plate.  There will be juice. Enjoy!

Blueberry cake - so many possibilities

I love blueberry muffins.  Unfortunately I love Betty Crocker blueberry muffins and the only way I get those is my my mom and MIL bringing me some - or ordering off some of the food websites I have listed.

I've looked for a 'from scratch' recipe and still haven't had a lot of success (Coop occasionally does sell BB muffins but they're 2chf a piece and that's a bit much for a week of breakfast).  I have now found a fantastic recipe though, and while I made it as a cake as suggested, next time I will make it in muffin cups.  It was really easy to make.  I'm also already thinking of making it with chocolate chips for hubby - which would be easy to make both at once if using the muffin pan.  You need a few bowls to make this.  (sorry about the pictures - when I remake it I will retake them)

The original recipe is located here
What you need:
100g butter - room temperature
The zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup of sugar
1 egg - room temperature
1 tsp vanilla (again I used my homemade which I think tastes better than store bought)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder (next time I will try it with backpulver)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 a package of frozen blueberries (BBs)-(or 2 cups of fresh if you make this when they're in season
1/2 cup buttermilk (sauer buttermilch - available at Coop but not online)

Preheat the oven to 180 C

In a small bowl, cream the butter with the zest and sugar until well mixed

In a larger bowl, add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add in the butter/sugar mixture.

In another bowl, toss the blueberries with 1/4 cup of flour. If you use frozen BBs you may want to rinse them off so your muffins/cake don't turn purple.  It doesn't bother me, and it wasn't super purple, but if making it for guests you may want to so it looks prettier.

In your final bowl, mix the baking powder, salt and flour together.

Add your flour mixture and buttermilk a little bit at a time to the butter/egg/sugar bowl and mix.  I did this in two batches.

Fold in the BBs gently.

Butter (or use cooking spray) a medium sized baking dish and spread the batter into the pan.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Cut into squares and allow to cool slightly.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

So I've gotten into homemade soups lately.  Could be the 10 degree weather, but it could also be the fact that I think they taste so much better than the kind you can get in a can (and I can't easily buy Campbell's here).  One of my friend's husbands made Cream of Mushroom soup from scratch and I will have to tackle that next.  It was fantastic.  Of course I found out later he put a ton of butter and cream in there, but that was about 2 years ago so those calories have long since been burned off.

After the success of my potato soup, I thought I'd try this broccoli one (and an excuse to go to the Coop in Dietikon - I discovered they sell A&W Root beer over by the magazines for only 1.50. Fantastic!)

The only thing I would change is to use fresh broccoli and chop it up just a little bit smaller.  You can also puree it if you prefer, but I like the chunks.  (Oh - and yes that is another 4 pack of flour in the background.  It was on sale again and there's lots of cooking and baking to do in the coming weeks even if it does have to live on my counter for a while)

What you need:
2 cups chicken broth
1 small/medium onion - diced
1/3 cup flour
50g butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups milk (no you don't have to use the skim milk and I'm considering using vollrahm to take place of some of the milk to make it a bit thicker - or maybe add a bit more flour)
2 cups shredded cheddar (I bought 300g and used the majority of it)
1 bag of frozen broccoli or 2 heads of fresh

Measure out your milk and let it sit while you prepare everything so it gets to room temperature

Chop your broccoli finely (depending if you want chunks or a puree). If frozen, put it in the microwave for about 3 minutes, stir and cook another couple.

Put the chicken broth and chopped onions in a small pot and simmer about 20 minutes so that the onions are tender.

About 15 minutes into the onions cooking, put the butter in another dish deep enough for all the liquids and let it melt over medium. Add the flour in and whisk constantly for a minute.  If your heat is too high you will get a dark brown mess on the bottom of your pan and have to start again.

Add in the milk and cook until it begins to thicken stirring occasionally (about 5-10 minutes)

Add the chicken broth/onions and mix well.  Add your cheese and mix for a minute or two.  Add in the broccoli.  If you want it chunky, you are done, otherwise, using an immersion blender, carefully blend (off the heat) and then put it back on.  After everything was put together, I put the lid on, turned it down to low and let it simmer for another 30 min. (was waiting for hubby).  Got tired of waiting so ate mine, and when he had his an hour later it was still perfectly hot and blended. So this is a great dish if everyone can't eat at the same time.

For the bread bowls:

Buy a bread roll in whichever size you would like (large for main course, small for a side).

Cut the top off the bread and carefully scoop out the bread inside, making sure to leave the bread at least 1/4 inch thick so your soup doesn't run out the side.

Rub a little olive oil inside the bread and on the bottom outside and place on a baking sheet in the oven at about 100 C.  Put it in when you start and take it out when you are ready to eat.  (If other people are eating later, make sure to turn the oven down lower so your bread doesn't turn into a rock)

When ready to eat, put the soup in the bowl and grate a little more cheese on top.  Enjoy!

This is my slightly adapted version.  The original can be found here

Artichoke Spinach Dip - yum!

Okay, so there are tons of variations on artichoke spinach dip.  Personally, I like the ones that are in bread bowls since you can then eat the bread when the dip is gone.  I didn't have a bread roll available when I was craving the dip though, so I just made it in a baking dish.  I will have to try that next time though as I already have a few things I'd like to tweak.  That's not to say it wasn't good - hubby really enjoyed it right out of the oven.  I liked it better when it had cooled to room temperature, and it was also good the next day right out of the fridge.

So use this as a starter, and add more or less of what you like and don't as much. Simple :-)

What you need:
1/2 - 1 bag of frozen spinach (depending on how much spinach you like)
1 jar of artichoke hearts (I used a 285g jar)
1 container of sour cream
1-2 cloves garlic
cream cheese
2- 3 cups  grated cheese (parmesan + whatever else you'd like)

Turn the oven on to 180 C

In a bowl, combine the spinach (thawed and water squeezed out).  Drain the artichoke hearts (I like to rinse them as well but you don't have to) and then chop them up.  Add them to the spinach and mix.

Stir in the sour cream, 1/2 of your cream cheese container and about 1/3 of a cup of mayonnaise. Mix well.

Add the grated cheese and 1-2 cloves of minced garlic.

If the consistency is OK,sprinkle some cheese on top and put it in the oven, otherwise add the rest of your cream cheese, mix again and then place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with bread (if making a bread bowl, save the bread and bake it for a few minutes) or baked tortilla strips.  Enjoy right out of the oven or prepare ahead of time and warm up in the microwave.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Easy Apple Pie

Since my MIL was here, I've been enjoying baking some desserts. I also really like the kuchenteig that I used for the last apple dessert.  I haven't heard yet whether it's easy to find in the US, but I'll worry about that if we decide to move back.

You don't need a whole lot for this.  The original recipe I found off a link on Pinterest, you can see it here, but I changed it a bit for what I had available here and what I thought would be good.

What you need:
1 package Kuchenteig
5-6 apples ( I just bought a one of the 6 packs and sliced them up since they were on sale)
3 Tbls sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp lemon juice

Slice the apples into thin slices and put in a baking dish. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.  Sprinkle the lemon juice over the apples the ad the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Bake at 180 C for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, unroll your dough and cut the edges into strips, leaving the center intact for your apples.

You can also start the glaze topping while this is cooking.  What you need:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla (again I'm using the one I made since I think it tastes better)
1 pinch of nutmeg
the juice leftover from your baked apples after you have removed them from the pan
1-2 tsp water or milk

Once the apples are out of the oven, spread them down the middle of the dough and then crisscross the dough over it.

Place on a baking sheet and bake at the temperature and time indicated on the dough.

When the bread is just about finished cooking, combine the glaze ingredients.  The amount of water you need to add depends on how much juice you have remaining from your apples.  If you use more apples you may only need 1 tsp of water, if you use less you may need 2-3.  You want the consistency to be thicker than that of water by itself, but not so thick that you can't drizzle it over the top of your bread.

Remove the pie from the baking sheet and put on a cutting board or rack. Drizzle the glaze over the top.  If you can, wait a few minutes for it to cool slightly, then enjoy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Turkey in Switzerland

Just to update - Migros has frozen Turkeys from 33chf for 2.8 kg and 45chf for a 3.8 kg.  I think there was one more but don't remember. They also have Goose and Duck.  Just make sure to measure your freezer/fridge and oven first!

Just a quick post - if you will be wanting a Turkey soon, and want to order one, start thinking about where to get one.

Migros have frozen ones - about 3-4 kg and the price jumps from about 45chf to 80 the closer you get to the end of November.  I used this option for the first Thanksgiving I was in Zurich.

Last year, I went to the Butcher and ordered one.  He was just a local one and only needed about 3 days.  I got the Turkey unfrozen and it was about 75chf for a Swiss one.  It was 4kg I think.

You can also order Turkey's at Jelmoli but they run higher. They will also provide you with side dishes and/or cook the Turkey.

There are various butchers in central Zurich (and I would imagine elsewhere) that will also order a Turkey for you and either brine it or not.  Even if they do not have them advertised, just ask.  The bigger shops you will need to order a few weeks in advance (So if you're thinking American Thanksgiving, go now!)

If you are having a lot of people and can perhaps split some costs (or just don't mind them) you can get your entire meal delivered.

Here are some websites:

Peace Foods - in Baar:
Main Page
Turkey Dinner pdf

This next place seems very reasonable, they need at least a week to deliver:
Gefluegel Gormet
Der Truthahn für die Festtage
I have not tried them, but may.  They have a range of sizes and prices, the first being 3-4kg for 50chf

Another one is Melt Catering:
Thanksgiving meals

If you would like to make your own dinner with a little help, you can get some staples from - they have stuffing mixes, gravy, desert basics and lots of other good things.

I am going to attempt to make most things from scratch using Swiss ingredients so will probably only order a few things.

If you like cranberry sauce, there are packaged Cranberries in the fruit section at Coop now - Oceanspray brand.  I can't live without my jellied cranberry sauce so I will be having that from a can.  Nothing says Thanksgiving better than can shaped cranberry sauce :-D And no, I don't leave it in can form when I put it on the table

I will post the sides I will make in a week or so after I figure them all out :)

Happy Turkey Shopping!