Monday, September 27, 2010
An under-appreciated cuisine...
"Die Kochkunst ist wie die Musik dazu angetan, Freude zu bereiten und den Menschen über sorgenvolle Zeiten hinwegzuhelfen".
"The art of cooking, like music, is meant to give pleasure and to tide people over troublesome times."
Nika Standen Hazelton.
(Hungrily thinking and salivating on my keyboard).
Tackle a dish from another culture...which one? Not French or Italian. So many...I love my Scandinavian cooking, but thats too familiar. Irish? Delicious, but still to familiar, I want a challenge. Something I love, but don't cook to often...German! That's it!
German food, I think, is truly an under-appreciated cuisine. With such a robust history and landscape, German cuisine is both complex and elegant, with it's cuisine basically changing somewhat based on geographical location. From the cool northern style, taking cues from its Scandinavian neighbors. The Central style that is rich, filling, and doesn't hesitate to use good food as an excuse to drink (the traditional Westphalian peasant breakfast wouldn't be complete without schnaps...prost!). The southern style in the Rhineland, is much lighter and relatively simple and casual.
I wanted to recreate a classic German dish that may not be that well known in the States.
Hammel Koteletten mit Zwiebelsosse, or Lamb chops in onion sauce.
Preheat your oven to 350F. Dry the Lamb chops with a paper towel (I like three to four per person) season with salt and pepper. In a heavy skillet large enough to hold the chops (or work in batches), melt some lard or oil over high heat. Brown the chops, and transfer to a casserole dish large enough to hold them in one layer. Turn down the heat to medium Drain the fat in the pan and add some butter, when the butter stops making noise add one large finely chopped onion. Cook until soft and caramelized. Stir in a little flour and mix well. Then while stirring, slowly add a cup of heavy cream. Reduce a bit until the sauce is smooth and thick. Add some nutmeg and taste, re-seasoning if necessary. Strain out the onions and return the sauce to the pan.Add about 1/4 pound finely diced smoked ham to the sauce and stir to incorporate. Carefully pour the sauce over the chops and bake for about thirteen to fifteen minutes, or until you think your chops are done...don't overcook them it would be a travesty.
Serve this with whatever you like...as long as you serve it with potatoes and bier!
This was to be my Challenge #2 post for the Project food blog challenge... unfortunately my computer has been freaking out the past couple of days and I wasn't able to post this until too late...damn, thats life.
Good luck to all of you...this is the Gastronome signing out... ... ...