Padrón Peppers: The Easiest Tapas from Spain

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Poking around in the beautiful produce section of Feinkost Spina, the Italian importer here in Munich, I saw these:

The German name on the label means “frying peppers”. I’d never seen nor heard of them before but the picture on the package looked interesting and I was in an experimental frame of mind.

Once home, I googled the Spanish name on the label, “Pimientos de Padrón” and got hundreds of hits. It seems these Padrón peppers are known far and wide by anyone who’s been to a tapas bar in the Galicia region of northwest Spain.

And just in case you happen not to know: tapas are snacks, a sort of Spanish bar food. They can be practically anything from small servings of meat with sauce to fried shrimp to small omelets. Typically, at least in tapas bars in the US, you order them in batches, much like you’d order a sushi roll, probably to share with your table. Tapas should be paired with wine or sangria. Tapas bars can be found in almost every country nowadays. read more

Bringing It All Together – Brioche Hamburger Buns

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On our recent trip to Florida, my husband and I had THE MOST DELICIOUS hamburger ever! It was the house specialty burger at Grillsmith restaurant, a small chain in the Tampa area. It was cooked medium-rare with all the trimmings, including bacon and Munster cheese. It was served on a brioche bun, which stood up to the juicy burger, and was just marvelous! I resolved to recreate this gem at home.

I’ve mentioned on this blog before that a surefire cure for homesickness, for me anyway, is a big, juicy hamburger. And not one of those European ones, either. Therefore, one of my culinary missions is to create the perfect American burger here in Germany. read more

German Jägerschnitzel Recipes

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Jägerschnitzel (pronounced “YAY-gr” like the first part of Jägermeister) looks like a complicated word before you get to know it. Now that I am close friends with it, it makes my mouth water every time. It literally translates as “Hunter’s Schnitzel” which means a basic German pork cutlet, pounded thin and pan friend with a super-delicious mushroom cream sauce over it. I may have to go make myself one before I can continue this post…

While you wait, here’s a shot of the most recent Jägerschnitzel I had at a restaurant this past weekend: read more

Yeast in Germany

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Baking with yeast (German: Hefe) has never been my strong point, even in the US. I just don’t have that much experience with it. Frankly, working with yeast doughs has always been a little intimidating for me. Complicating that is the fairly recent availability of new types of dried yeast on the grocery store shelf. Now add to that the fact that yeast in Germany is a totally different situation entirely. I was really snowed.

However, since I’ve been testing recipes for my next book (A Travel for Taste – Collected German Family Recipes – look for it later this year) I’ve had to work with yeast. Contributing factor: cooking lessons in Italy last year wherein I learned to make foccacia. read more