Saturday, November 28, 2009

Making "Rotkohl" for Thanksgiving Dinner

My version of the German/Family recipe for the holiday red cabbage dish that needs to be served with turkey, duck, pork or roast beef.
1 head of Red Cabbage
2 big apples
2 big onions
2 Bay Leaves
3 Whole Cloves
6 Juniper Berries
Red Wine Vinegar
Black Pepper
1/2 cup frozen Huckelberries (can use blue berries or any frozen forest berry)
Olive Oil
Peal and core all items. Starting with onion and apples feed into Food Processor with slicer attachment (thin) and slice. Add oil and bay leaves to hot oil, add onions and apples and let "sweat". You may use lid of pot for this, proceed until onions and apples start to break down. Add sliced cabbage and berries. Stir. Add 1/4 cup vinegar, stir and coat items. Turn heat down, adding additional spices, cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes. Take off lid and stir: salt and pepper to taste. Cabbage should still be crunchy. At this point liquid in pot should be gone and you should let pot cool down and chill over night. This dish needs to be made the day BEFORE you want to eat it, the chilling over night sets the flavor. Next day heat up being careful not to burn mixture, taste and re-season if needed.
Can also be heated up in warm oven after being tested for seasoning.
This is one of the reasons the cabbage family is my favorite group of vegetables! Easy, afordable, healthy and Yummy! Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Festival Gourmet Photographer Josef Kandoll-Puerto Vallarta's photographer of choice!

Josef Kandoll of Josef Kandoll Photography & his partner, Serge at this year's cooking class at Chef Thierry Blouet's Cafe' des Artistes during the XV Festival Gourmet.
Josef is a fabulous artist: photographing weddings, architectural images, etc. in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He is American born speaks English & Spanish, the perfect gentleman! He is also a travel writer.

Chef Thierry Blouet, Chef Heinz Reize & Chef Roland Menetrey-Three Great Chefs: a single purpose! Festival Gourmet International in PV, Mexico

Left to right: Chef Roland, Chef Thierry, Chef Heiz (sitting in the shade at Coco Tropical-more fun that a barrel of monkeys!)

November 18th at Coco Tropical Restaurant as part of the XV Festival Gourmet a cooking class at Chef Heinz Reize's restaurant, lead by Chef Jens Nardmann (see previous post). Chefs Blouet & Reize are the founders of this now grand 10 day Food Festival/Event. Chef Menetrey joined his dynamic duo buds in 2000 to take the festival, which draws guest chefs and guests from all over the world, to another level. Imagine: world class chefs cooking in Puerto Vallarta's best restaurants, creating menus using local products and giving it their spin! Through the years, the host chefs have also traveled to Europe, the US and other destinations in a reverse culinary exchange. The cultural exchange, swapping of culinary knowledge and building of friendships and just plain fun: is priceless.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Fall Bounty in our part of the world-It's Harvest Time!

Figs from Ally's Tree
Carrots and Beets from Woody's Garden

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nov.9-09 Freedom Festival in Berlin-20 years since the Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall fell 20 years ago this year. I lived in Berlin for a year in the 80's as a graduate exchange student and afterwards in Dortmund (at that time West Germany) attending a Hotel & Restaurant Management School. Almost 6 years in Germany, all told.

Yesterday, my friend in Dortmund, Gernot Eigen (he happens to be a retired chef) sent me images from a trip I took to Germany in 1989 (coming back from my brother's wedding in India)......I happened to be traveling in Southern Germany on the actual day the Wall went down. I woke up early, there was a very old, relic of a TV in the hotel room. For some reason, I turned it on (American and German TV wasn't really my thing before the days of CNN): I saw images of people sitting on the Berlin wall with bottles of champagne in thier hands! It was really confusing at first, I didn't have the sound on, turning on the sound and hearing what had happened the night before was shocking. Up to that point, the East German boarder police was still shooting people at the Wall. Later that day, we were hiking through the woods near by and saw East Germans who had come over a nearby boarder in their Trabant cars (those who had cars were in the vast minority). They were waving white handkerchives at us when we met them on the village road: we waved back. The towns and villages all over what had been West Germany set up places to sleep for those who were crossing the boarders and venturing over. The West German goverment was offering a small sum of West German Marks to East Germans who were visiting the West. It was both weird and great to be a witness to what seemed impossible.

Here are some pictures of a young women with red glasses: behind the glasses you can see it's me! Thanks Gernot for sending those images, a reminder of how time passes!