Review – Die Jüdische Küche by Annabelle Schachmes

Hi,

If you know me, you’ll know that I love food and cooking. I also love collecting cookbooks, something I must have inherited from my dad. Luckily enough, I recently got my hands on a copy of Annabelle Schachmes’ Jewish cookbook “Die Jüdische Küche”. It was originally published in 2015 by Gründ cuisine under the title “La Cuisine juive“.

Die Jüdische Küche
Image provided by südwest¹

With “Die Jüdische Küche”, Annabelle Schachmes tried to create a collection of Jewish dishes from all over the world. To find the recipes, she traveled to different continents and brought back gems from Russia, Tunisia, Israel, the USA and various other countries.

The book is divided into eight sections: “spices, pickle & condiments”; “appetizers”; “main courses”; “sides”; “soups”; “street food & New York delis”; “breads & pastries” and “desserts”. Usually these chapters are there to help you find recipes, in this book they only confuse. Everything is okay up until we reach the “soups” section which is not where I would look for it at all. It’s in the middle of the book while it should be somewhere near the beginning. I also don’t get why “street food & New York delis” is so far away from the main dishes. The placing of “breads & pastries” as well as “desserts” is perfect but what I don’t get is why “desserts” is full of pastries again with some lemonade recipes sprinkled in between. The whole thing is quite chaotic.

Cinnamon ChallahAmong over 160 recipes you will find favorites like falafel, hummus or challah as well as lots of dishes you’ve never heard before. Many recipes are accompanied by a description or even a photo but some aren’t and it is really hard to guess what cholent or loubia are supposed to be if all you’ve got is a recipe. “Die Jüdische Küche” is a beautifully illustrated cookbook full of photographs of markets and people in the streets but wouldn’t it be better to cut back on those photos and accompany every recipe by a picture instead?

While all this sounds harsh, you can’t judge a cookbook without doing some cooking. For Valentine’s Day, I chose to cook falafel and bake challah.
Falafal with Cucumber SaladI didn’t make a falafel sandwich as it is suggested in the book, but chose to serve the falafel with cucumber salad and sour cream. The recipe lets you choose between frying or baking the falafel, so I did the latter. I was a bit confused because the ingredients didn’t specify if the weight for the canned chickpeas meant the drained weight or not. In another recipe that was stated and here it wasn’t. Anyways, the falafel turned out great, maybe a bit on the dry side, but they tasted heavenly and they were assembled in no time. This will become a go-to recipe in my home for sure.

Heart-shaped ChallahI chose to pimp the challah recipe by making cinnamon challah. I did the dough just like the recipe stated and before I braided it, I brushed it with melted butter and dusted it with cinnamon and sugar. The challah was just as yummy as the falafel. So recipe-wise, “Die Jüdische Küche” is a great book.

Annabelle Schachmes collected Jewish recipes from all over the world. She took the recipes and her photos and had them bound into a book. What she forgot is that there are people who will want to use this book as a cookbook. There isn’t an introductory chapter telling us about the ingredients and the measurements used, or about possible substitutions – something you’ll find in every good cookbook. I also miss the possibility to see the geographical origin of a recipe at a glance. This would have been so easy to accomplish. And then there is the big question that hasn’t been asked or answered: What is Jewish cuisine? Why are all these recipes considered Jewish and not German, Eastern European, or Tunisian? We’ll never know.
If you are an experienced cook who wants an extensive collection of good Jewish recipes and lots of beautiful pictures of people and markets, then go for this book, but remember: “Die Jüdische Küche” is just a collection of recipes and not much more.

3 Star Rating: Recommended

¹ https://www.randomhouse.de/Buch/Die-juedische-Kueche/Annabelle-Schachmes/Suedwest/e507478.rhd
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Recipe – How to make Slow Cooker King Cake

Hi,

A few days ago, I was looking for a slow cooker King Cake recipe and all I could find was Megan’s Crock Pot King Cake Fail. I knew that it is possible to bake yeast dough in a slow cooker because I made cinnamon pull-apart bread in it before, so I decided to ask the admin of the Slow Cooker Crock Pot Recipes Facebook Page if they had any idea how to tackle slow cooker King Cake. They never tried making it either, but suggested cooking it on low for 4 hours.

Slow Cooker King Cake

I used Jo’s Mardi Gras King Cake recipe and followed the instructions. It makes two King Cakes, which is why I only made half the recipe for the pastry, but not for the filling – I love lots of filling! I didn’t use Jo’s frosting and made maple frosting instead.

When I was done rolling and shaping my King Cake ring, I buttered the surface of my slow cooker to prevent the cake from sticking to it. Then, I carefully transferred the ring-shaped King Cake into the slow cooker and inserted a cylinder made of tin foil and covered with parchment paper into the middle of the ring. I put the lid on the slow cooker and waited for 10 minutes until I turned it on low.

KingCakepastry

I left my King Cake like that for 2.5 hours (on low). This was when I noticed the edges getting a little too brown and so I just turned the cake upside down and left it like that for one more hour (also on low).

KingCakeafterbaking

I removed the King Cake and put it on parchment paper. While it was cooling a little, I prepared the maple icing. You are supposed to use about 1 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 1 1/8 cups of powdered sugar. I was almost out of powdered sugar, so I substituted that with granulated sugar and some more milk. I divided the icing into three parts and mixed it with food coloring. Then I drizzled it onto the King Cake.

Slow Cooker King CakeWhat would I change?

  1. I would use a bit less pastry, so the King Cake has more room to rise in the slow cooker.
  2. I wouldn’t double the filling, but use 1 and 1/2 times as much as the recipe calls for.
  3. The King Cake was fully cooked after 3.5 hours on low. I’d reduce the cooking time by half an hour, because I’m fairly confident that it was already cooked after 3 hours.

I hope all this is useful for you. Happy cooking/baking and happy Mardi Gras!

Recipe – No-Crust Pumpkin Pie

Hello,

Some of you might have noticed that there haven’t been that many blog posts in the past months. I’m writing hard on my thesis and won’t be able to update All That Magic as often as I’d like until I’m done with university. I’d be happy to flood you with my thoughts after graduation, because I haven’t stopped reading books ;). For now, I’ve got a seasonal recipe for you.

No-Crust Pumpkin Pie for Claudia

no crust pumpkin pieIt’s been three years since Claudia decided to share recipes for people with chewing and swallowing difficulties on her blog Geschmeidige Köstlichkeiten. Claudia thinks that having difficulties eating solid food doesn’t mean that you can’t eat varied and appealing meals. She is constantly trying and testing new recipes and even asks chefs for their contributions. For her third blogiversary, Claudia asked her readers and colleagues to think of something smooth and delicious for her to eat and I thought I’d make her some no-crust pumpkin pie.¹

Ingredients:
  • 5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground ginger
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 250 g canned pumpkin puree (have a look at the baby food section in your supermarket if you can’t find canned pumpkin, or make pumpkin puree yourself)
  • 150 ml evaporated milk (G: Kondensmilch, ungezuckert)
Instructions:

No crust pumpkin pie

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Mix sugar, ground cinnamon, ground ginger,, ground cloves and salt in a bowl.
  3. Lightly whisk the egg in a small bowl.
  4. Add the egg to the sugar mixture and stir.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree and stir.
  6. Gradually add the evaporated milk and keep stirring until combined.
  7. Lightly grease a ceramic, or glass baking dish, or ramekins. Pour in pumpkin batter.
  8. Bake for 15 min on 180°C/350°F, then reduce the heat to 160°C/320°F and bake until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and the no-crust pie jiggles slightly (in my case 20 more minutes, if you use ramekins the baking time will be shorter).
  9. Let the pie cool down to room temperature and, to get a better consistency, put it in the fridge overnight.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Geschmeidige Koestlichkeiten

 

¹ I adapted Alice Medrich’s Pumpkin Pudding recipe.

Blogger Convention – Salt and the City

Hey There,

Salt and the City is Salzburg’s first blogger convention for food and lifestyle and was held on the last weekend of May. Caro, one of the organizers, assured us early on that book blogs are lifestyle blogs, so of course Nana and I had to join the fun.


Salt and the City - Blogger Camp for Food & Lifestyle

Friday

The convention started off with an Instawalk. This was particularly funny, because I still have an old Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot phone that I love very much (who needs touch screens anyway?) and as a result I don’t have an Instagram account. I was thinking about bringing my bridge camera and then decided against it as I didn’t want to carry that heavy thing around the city. “It’s an Instawalk,” I thought, “so why don’t I just take pictures with my mobile phone?” And that’s what I did. You can see those “lovely” retro shots on our Facebook page.

Instawalk through Salzburg
Instawalk through Salzburg. Image provided by pixellovers.at

On our walk we got an exclusive tour of the Salzburger Landestheater where we went backstage and up to the millinery. I could have stayed there for hours just to try on every single stunning headpiece and hat. We had some schnapps at Sporer‘s, a liquor manufacture, and tipsily climbed four flights of stairs to the realm of Andreas Kirchtag, the workshop of Kirchtag umbrella manufacture. It was great to see how much work goes into a single umbrella and that not only can you choose the fabric of your umbrella but also the shaft. After this informative stop, we sat down for iced coffee and tea at Afro Cafe and recharged our batteries for one more climb. The highlight of the day was the view from Salzburg’s city hall tower which isn’t open to the public. On our way down we were treated to some delicious Venusbrüstchen chocolates, so I didn’t have to worry about bedtime candy that night.

Saturday
cake topper
The cake topper I made.

Official convention day was Saturday and started with a breakfast table laden with muesli and excellent Rauch Juice Bar Grünschnabel spinach juice that I can’t seem to find in stores. I relaxed and chatted until lunch, as my workshops didn’t start until early afternoon. The first workshop was by Tina Tagwercher who gave a presentation on Thai fruit carving techniques and even though the time was too short to have a go at it myself, I’m fairly confident that I’d manage to carve a melon with the right tools. In the second workshop, I got to do some cake decorating. Dr Oetker sent a pastry chef and his assistant to teach us how to make fondant roses and pipe chocolate decorations. I had a good time and I think my cake top looks presentable.

Thai fruit carving
Thai fruit carving

In the evening we were invited to dinner and a craft beer tasting at Trumerei. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy this part of the day as a migraine hit me.

Sunday
Hallein Salt Mine
Hallein Salt Mine. Image provided by pixellovers.at

On Sunday it was time for the bloggers to explore Salzburg’s countryside. I was looking forward to a visit to Sonnleitn Alm in Abtenau but my migraine wasn’t gone when I woke up in the morning, so I had to pass on the first half of the outing. I joined the others for the second half though. We went up to Dürrnberg mountain to visit the Salt Mine. I’ve been there many times already and I have to admit that I don’t like the videos that you get to see touring the mine. You feel stupid watching them. They might do for children’s tours but adults would appreciate content instead of bad jokes. The mine itself is impressing though and you wouldn’t want to miss the boat ride on the salt lake and the slides.

When I arrived home, I finally had time to go through the two goodie bags that we got. I’m already excessively using my Riess mug for overnight oats, and I tried Quinoa for the very first time. It has a weird consistency that I think I like. 😉

I had a great weekend at my very first blogger convention and I hope that Salt and the City will return next year. Thank you girls for the hard work you did!

Salzburg
Beautiful Salzburg
Thanks to all the sponsors who made Salt and the City possible:

stadt-salzburgtrumer

trumereitennengau

salzburger-land

gesagt-getandmrauchfissler

altstadt-salzburg dr-oetker verival wuesthof

riess nenihotel-sacher rough-cut-board

coworking-campdecora bombasei

Review – GU Cookbooks Smoothies, 1 Salat – 50 Dressings, Grillen

Hello everyone,

Today I’ll have to squeeze in a little German-language blog post for a challenge. It’s a review of three cook books called Smoothies, 1 Salat – 50 Dressings (1 Salad – 50 Dressings) and Grillen (BBQ). I won all three for the challenge on Lovelybooks. If you’re interested in the books, I’ll sum up what I think about them in English after every review 🙂

Smoothies – Tanja Dusy:

smoothie

Als ich das Cover des Smoothie Buches gesehen habe, dachte ich erst „Sehr gesund, erinnert mich an einen medizinischen Ratgeber.“. In der Hoffnung nach richtigen Smoothies, und nicht dem Bananengatsch den man hier in jedem Supermarkt findet, hab ich mir die Leseprobe angesehen und wurde nicht enttäuscht. Dieses Buch versprach jede Menge Smoothies auf Eiswürfelbasis! Also wurde es auf Herz und Nieren getestet.

Ausprobiert wurden der Grashopper mit Melone, der Melonen Pfirsich Smoothie, der Blueberry Sky und Mister Mintzz. Bis auf einen Smoothie waren mir die Smoothies persönlich alle ein wenig zu süß. Diese Ausnahme ist Mister Mintzz. Mister Mintzz ist ein wirklich ausgesprochen guter und ausgewogener Smoothie der bei uns garantiert wieder auf den Tisch kommt. Was ich auch noch anmerken muss ist, dass man pro Smoothie meist mindestens drei verschiedene Arten von Früchten benötigt und häufig nichtmal ein ganzes Stück pro Frucht. Das ist wieder ein sehr hoher Lebensmittelverbrauch. Vor allem wenn man alleine lebt ist das etwas lästig und umständlich.

A smoothie book for those who always throw the same two kinds of fruit into their mixers. Lots of ideas but also a lot of smoothies that need way too many ingredients, especially if you only want to make a smoothie for one person. I also thought that many smoothies were on the sweet side.

3beans

1 Salat – 50 Dressings – Tanja Dusy:

salat

Auch bei diesem Buchcover bekam ich gleich Ratgeber Feeling. Aber nicht so extrem wie bei Smoothies. Interessanterweise würde ich beim Inhalt der zwei Kännchen am Cover nicht sofort an Dressings denken. Das ist in Kombination mit dem Buchtitel dann aber auch wieder nicht so blöd, denn da findet man es wieder spannend, was denn das nun für Dressings sein könnten 🙂

Beim Durchblättern der Leseprobe war ich gleich auf die Cremigen und die Ungewöhnlichen und Exotischen Dressings gespannt. Allerdings war mir bei den Inhaltsangaben bereits etwas mulmig zumute. Das sieht mir ganz nach einer Zutatenschlacht aus. Aber die muss man für ein leckeres Dressing wohl in Kauf nehmen.

Rezepttechnisch muss ich zugeben, dass ich keine wirklich ausgewogene Wertung abgeben kann, da ich bisher lediglich ein Dressing ausprobiert habe. Das Ziegenkäsedressing war wirklich hervorragend und hat sehr gut zum Gurkensalat gepasst. Allerdings muss man sagen, dass der Lebensmittelverbrauch unverhältnismäßig war.

I can’t say too much about this book, as I only had time to try one salad dressing so far. It was a goat cheese dressing that tasted very good but I needed a disproportionate amount of ingredients for it.

No Rating

Grillen – Susanne Bodensteiner:

spiesse

Mein Favorit unter den drei Covern ist das von Grillen. Ich mags einfach gern dunkler und hier fühl ich mich wohl und würde gern gleich Platz nehmen und reinbeißen.

Die Gerichte im Inhaltsverzeichnis sehen auf den ersten Blick großteils nach (umgearbeiteten) Klassikern aus.

Getestet wurden: Bunte Karibik Spieße, Hähnchen Oriental, Fisch-Frikadellen mit Koriander, Quesadillas mit Ziegenkäse und Mini-Focaccia vom Grill. Die Bunten Karibik Spieße und die Quesadillas waren ein Traum und wirklich sehr lecker und einfach zuzubereiten. Das Hähnchen Oriental was ganz okay, wenn es auch etwas mehr Feuer vertragen hätte. Von den Fisch-Frikadellen bin ich nicht überzeugt. Diese schmeckten nur nach Tiefkühlfisch und sehr lasch. Ein totaler Reinfall waren die Mini-Focaccia. Die sind leider sofort in die Mülltonne gewandert, da sie nur nach Mehl und Olivenöl geschmeckt haben.

Alles in allem kann man sagen, dass das Buch wohl von ausgezeichneten Rezepten bis hin zu Totalausfällen alles bietet. Aber allein für die Karibik Spieße hat es sich gelohnt.

This BBQ book is hit & miss. I made some very good things like carribbean skewers and goat-cheese quesadillas, but then there were bland fish burgers and downright ugly focaccia. I’d buy the book especially for those skewers though. So yummy!

3beans

Recipe – Homemade Frozen Yogurt

Hi,

It’s awfully hot here these days, so today I decided to make use of our overstock of yogurt to cool myself down a little. Of course, I could have taken another trip to the ice cream parlor, but I wanted to go for something low-calorie instead.

You need (serves 1 or 2 depending on their appetite 😉 )
  • a freezer
  • 2 freezer bags
  • about 250g (~8.5oz) plain yogurt (that’s the smallest unit you can buy over here)
  • optional: vanilla, sugar, fruit, cookies,…
How it’s done
  1. Put the yogurt into one of the freezer bags.
  2. If you want to, you can add some sugar, vanilla, fruit puree, cookie crumbs, or whatever else comes to your mind.
  3. Seal the bag and check if it’s really closed.
  4. If you added something to the yogurt, mix carefully kneading the bag with your hands.
  5. Put the bag with the yogurt into the second bag. (This is just to make sure nothing leaks). Seal the second bag.
  6. Find a safe place in the freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours. You should quickly knead your yogurt bag every 10-15 minutes to get a smooth texture. You have to be especially attentive once you notice the yogurt freezing. Things go fast from there.
  7. Your frozen yogurt is done when the whole bag contains a smooth frozen mixture.

Bon Appetite!

Frozen Yogurt
Plain and Chocolate Chip Cookie Frozen Yogurt with Chocolate Chip Cookie Topping

 

Recipe – Wiener Schnitzel

Hello everyone,

Are you hungry? If you are, I might have just the right thing for you. Today I’ve got a post for all the foodies among you. I proudly present:

How to make Wiener Schnitzel

Originally, you make Wiener Schnitzel from veal. You can also make them from pork, turkey, horse meat or chicken breasts. I really like Wiener Schnitzel made from chicken breasts. If you choose veal, buy butterflied top round steaks (also for pork and horse meat). For chicken and turkey schnitzel we use butterflied breasts.

As you will see, you’ll need flour, eggs, breadcrumbs and oil/lard. I’ll tell you how much you’ll probably need, but it’s always good to have more at home, in case you run out.

Ingredients for 4:
  • a minimum of 4 chicken breasts, or any of the above meats
  • approx. 3 cups of flour (Doesn’t really matter which one. Shouldn’t be self-raising though.)
  • 3 eggs
  • approx. 4-5 cups of breadcrumbs
  • Enough lard or oil to fry your schnitzel. It depends on how much you want to use. Do you want them to swim in fat, or do you just want them to sit comfortably in a 1-1.5 cm deep puddle of fat? 🙂
  • a pinch of salt
Instructions on How to Make Wiener Schnitzel:

Step 1: Softly pound your schnitzel on both sides. Don’t overdo it.

Step 2: Prepare three shallow bowls, e.g. soup bowls. Put the flour into the first one, the eggs into the second and the breadcrumbs into the third one. Add a pinch of salt to the eggs and whisk with a fork so the egg whites and the yolks are combined.

Step 3: Okay this is important. There are 3 little steps in this process and you can’t mix them up!

  1. Put the schnitzel into the bowl with the flour and evenly cover it with flour. There shouldn’t be any gaps.
  2. Now put the schnitzel into the bowl with the eggs and evenly cover it with eggs. Again: no gaps. (If there is excess egg on the schnitzel, just let it drip back into the bowl)
  3. The third step is to quickly put the schnitzel into the bowl with the breadcrumbs and cover it all over.

Repeat this process with all your schnitzel. When they are breaded, they are safe to lay aside on a dry and clean chopping board, or plate.

Step 4: When you’re done with all of them, heat the lard or oil in a large frying pan. When it’s hot, you can fry your schnitzel on both sides until they are golden brown.

Schnitzel

You can serve Wiener Schnitzel with parsley potatoes (cooked potatoes with butter and chopped, fresh parsley).

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

Bon Appetit!

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