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Alan Ladd’s Kidney Deluxe

As some of you may remember, we have a vast collection of “Golden Oldies” (movies) – limiting the movies up to the early 1980s……. (See much more on Jo’s own Blog “manningtreearchive.com” for your enjoyment).

We enjoy watching those wonderful movies leisurely in our home with a glass of wine (or two!) and appreciate the many ‘stars of yesteryears’ and we bemoan the sad fact that they don’t’ make stars and films like that anymore, and what a pity it is.

A few days ago I wanted to see a 1957 film which at a much younger age I must have seen at least three times; “The Boy On A Dolphin” – I remember that I liked the story, I liked Alan Ladd but most of all I liked Sophia Loren whom I had met and had tea with at a fashion show in Frankfurt/Main.

There is a song in this film, sung by (unaccredited) the smoky-voiced Julie London – oh how we love this song (ok I admit it here – we love them all) and particularly, her wonderful voice and interpretation of each individual song (you remember her “Cry Me A River?”). Who cannot remember this (to us) slightly haunting performance of one of her most famous songs “…Saddle the Wind” from the film with the same title which was released in 1958 (See in-depth review of this film posted on October 18, 2012 in Jo’s own site.)

“There’s a tale that they tell of a dolphin
And a boy made of gold.
With the shells and the pearls in the deep,
He has lain many years fast asleep;
What they tell of the Boy on A Dolphin,
Who can say if it’s true.
Should he rise from the depths of the ocean,
Any wish that you wish will come true.
You say he’s only a statue,
And what can a statue achieve.
And yet while I’m gazing at you,
My heart tells my head to believe.
If the boy whom the Gods have enchanted,
Should arise from the sea,
And the wish of my heart could be granted,
I would wish that you loved only me.”

And whilst Jo was looking for the Alan Ladd film in our library he came across an old recipe, tucked away many years ago in the cover of this DVD of one of Ladd’s favourite recipes “Kidney Deluxe”. It is a slight variation of our very own “Devilled Kidneys”, which I nevertheless will post here shortly.

I was not able to get mushrooms, bacon and Sherry for the moment and so I cannot show you any photographs. But I leave you with some images from this enjoyable movie instead.

So, here I am with the recipe (for 4 people) for Alan Ladd’s “Kidney Deluxe

Ingredients:
¼ x kg lamb kidney
2 x Tbsp butter
4 x slices bacon, diced finely
5 x Spring onions, chopped
10 x large button mushrooms, chopped
1 ½ x Tbsp butter
1 ½ x Tbsp flour
¼ x tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1/3 x cup Sherry (dry) (or equal measure of red or white wine)
Parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Method:
Wash kidneys. Cover with cold water. Bring slowly to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and slice, cutting away fat and tubes.

Sauté bacon in 2 Tbsp butter until crisp. Add scallions and mushrooms; sauté for 5 minutes.

Add kidneys and cook for another 5 minutes.

Melt in a saucepan 11/2 Tbsp butter and stir in flour. Cook over low heat until blended. Add water. Bring to a simmer, stirring: cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add gravy, Sherry wine, salt and pepper to kidney mixture. Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

That’s it! Enjoy.
Carina

Bejewelled Cupcakes

Hallo – hallo! I am once more back again!

Some of you might remember telling you that my late mother never taught me to bake any of her beautiful cakes. Was that the reason why I never even attempted baking for my family and friends? I don’t know really; and to be frank with you I also was always a bit “scared” in case I made quite a fool of myself.

Luckily neither Jo nor I have a so called ‘sweet tooth’ – so we never missed that divine piece of ‘sweet temptation’ on our extensive travels around the world, with the exception of one of the various times when we visited the world famous Hotel Sacher in Vienna. How can anyone decline a piece of their Sacher Torte (with 2 spoons, please) and a glass of delicious champagne?!

But the other day we suddenly both felt like having a piece of cake with our tea but could not be bothered to call a UBER to take us to a bakery. Then I remembered a cake recipe my friend Heidi in Berlin used when cake was needed at very short notice. So a quick call to her, recipe written down, needed ingredients checked, cake baked and 20 minutes later enjoyed with a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst listening to the heavy unseasonably rain outside.

So here now I share with you Heidi’s recipe and hopefully you too will bake this cake.

I am quite proud of myself for having done this after decades shying away from this but, as the saying goes “…one is never too old to learn” – so watch out for maybe another cake experience soon.

Take care and Namaskaram
Carina

Ingredients for 6 Cupcakes
100 g Butter, softened
250 g Flour
200 g Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of Salt
Ingredients for top
100 g Almonds (skinned and cut into little sticks)
100 g Sugar
Any good jam (solid, not liquid)

Method
Heat your oven to 200 C.
In a bowl mix Butter, Sugar and Vanilla Sugar very well until creamy.
Slowly add eggs, one after another, and mix well
Mix flour, baking powder and salt and add to the above mixture.
Now butter your baking sheet or cupcake pan, sprinkle flour over this and shake off any excess flour.
Cover your baking sheet with the batter, smooth out top.

With a small spoon make a dell in the batter and add a good generous dollop of your favourite jam into this.
Mix the almonds and the sugar and sprinkle over the batter with tiny butter flakes on top.
Bake in the hot oven for app. 20 minutes.

That’s it – enjoy Heidi’s recipe with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

G O A L ! …..

“……… I DO THIS, MY WAY! …..”

G O A L ! …..

….. and my version of German Zwiebelkuchen.

As most (if not all) of you know by now the Football World Championship is on.

Last Sunday the match was Germany vs Mexico.

Jo and I settled down in front of our TV anticipating (and keeping fingers crossed) that Germany would beat Mexico, although by a narrow margin.

But what disappointment was in store for us. I am no football expert but it looked like the Germans played a game not up to their usual standard and their fans expectations.

And so when the first goal came in the first half – it was for Mexico.

Jubilation on their side, despair on my home country’s side!

And despite a bit more effort in the second half and a few near (goal) misses, the game ended 0:1.

Congratulations Mexico and ‘better luck next time’ Germany!

And since I did not want to spend too much time in the kitchen I made one of our long time ‘fast food’ dishes. No pizza for us – I cannot remember ever having eaten a pizza on our many trips to Italy or anywhere else. But ‘Zwiebelkuchen’ (Onion cake) – now that is a different matter.

So here my recipe I like to share with you:

Ingredients

225 g flour
110 ml water
25 g butter
1 pack (2 tsp) dry yeast
Pinch of salt and sugar.
And for the Filling:
400 g Onions, thinly sliced
150 g Bacon, cut into small cubes
1 Tbsp Oil
2 Eggs
100 ml cream
125 g Cheese (I used Cheddar), grated
Salt, Nutmeg, Pepper, to taste

And this is how I made it:

In a bowl mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Once done add the cold water and the softened butter and knead this into a dough. Let this rest for app 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough and line a Quiche-dish, which you have buttered before, (if you double this recipe then it’s better to use a baking sheet).

In a bowl mix together eggs, cream, salt, nutmeg and pepper.

Now heat up the butter and some oil and add the onions and bacon frying this mixture only until colour changes slightly. Remove pan from fire and add egg/cream mixture. Check your spices.

Now add everything on top of the dough lined dish, sprinkle a generous amount of cheese over this.

Bake in the preheated oven at 200 C ca. 30 minutes.

Serve with a nice dry white wine or a lovely chilled beer. Prost!!!

That’s it – enjoy.

Namaskaram
Carina

Pancakes Surprise

……… I DO THIS, MY WAY! …..

Pancakes Surprise
(Pancakes filled with –tinned- Tuna fish and a variety of vegetables)

We all had this situation at one time – you are in need to relax after a hard day at work and now ready to sit down and watch a nice film. No cooking that evening for once. And then the doorbell goes and friends from out-of-town ‘pop in’ to say ‘Hello’. Here go all the beautiful plans for that evening, but soon the joy of seeing these good friends takes over.

Of course they stayed for supper, which was very nice. But what to do? A look into my (nearly barren) fridge – big shopping day was ‘tomorrow’ – and into my larder (store cupboard) and I came up with the idea of serving my faithful standby ‘pancakes surprise’.

These are savoury pancakes filled with all sorts of delicious items like here with Tuna and various vegetables and another one with very spicy Quark.

My friend and I quickly went to work in the kitchen while the men caught up with the latest news. But soon we were able to join them for a drink of our delicious Sula wine from the Nashik region of western India, 180 km northeast of Mumbai.

For 2 people you will need:

For the pancakes
125 g flour
¼ l milk
2 eggs
Salt (to taste)
Some butter to fry the pancakes

For one of the fillings:

Some Butter
1 Tbsp flour
¼ l milk
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tin of Tuna fish (in water)
2 Tbsp Capers
1 Tbsp lemon juice
250 g assorted vegetables (here I used finely grated carrots, peas, cauliflower)

Here is how I do this “… my way”

Make medium sized thin pancakes and keep warm.

Now heat butter, add flour and whilst stirring all the time, cook this until smooth. Add the cold milk bit by bit – keep stirring – ; bring to boil and add spices.

Add the vegetables (I only blanched the cauliflower florets) to the Béchamel sauce and slowly cook for a few minutes.

Add drained Tuna and Capers, salt, pepper and lemon juice – bring once again to the boil for a couple of minutes.

Take an ovenproof dish and using a small piece of soft butter smear this all over the inside of this dish.

Take some of the Tuna/Vegetable filling and spoon all over the pancake – continue until all the pancakes are filled. Roll each one up tightly and add to the ovenproof dish.

Bake in the pre-heated oven by 180 C for 20-30 minutes or until the pancakes are really golden brown.

N.B. Most vegetables can be used here, depending on your imagination and what you have in your larder.

Here is how I do this “… my way” (Part 2)

Before our friends arrived I had already made our own Supper ready to be enjoyed later on. I thought I will share this one with you as well – it’s so easy, quick, delicious but very filling.

I made:
3 large thin ‘dosas’ (Pancakes) using whole wheat (Atta) flour, egg and milk

When they were done I used up my home-made Quark by adding to this salt and pepper (to taste), Lots of Spring onions, finely chopped, 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder, a generous helping of our beloved Lingham’s Chilli Sauce (it all depends how much heat you can take), mixed all this well and spread this mixture evenly over all 3 pancakes. Added one on top of the other and then rolled all this tightly together. With a serrated knife I cut our portions.
No need to keep in oven. Any left overs keep well in the fridge for the next day when I heat this up until just warm.

That’s it – enjoy.

Namaskaram
Carina

Quiche Espanola!

Memories of a month in Madrid…..
…..and a Quiche named “our own Jewels in the crown”.

Some time ago we took our girls for a month long family holiday to Spain – to the beautiful and lively city of Madrid in fact. We rented a beautiful little flat in a nice and most convenient area. From here we took many trips, mainly by bus, to some of the interesting little towns often only a one to two hours bus ride away. There is so much to see – the towns, like Toledo and El Escorial by themselves, the churches, galleries, Museums etc. – so much beauty not to be missed!

Frequently arriving back ‘home’ late, we did not feel like cooking but just wanted to “chill out” as the girls called it. So to make one of my nice party/picnic/TV-viewing Quiches the day before was just the right thing to do. The only company this Quiche needed was some lovely red wine and/or Cava. Bliss!
So, to make this dish now when I am rather busy with house- and other matters, makes sense – only Cava is missing!! And instead of Spanish Red we have our Indian SULA.

For a 9 inches (22.5 cm) flan dish, I used the following:
250 g tender corn kernels (frozen) thawed
250 g tender green peas (frozen) thawed
2 x large onions, very finely chopped
5 x garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 x red large Capsicum, finely chopped
1x yellow large Capsicum, finely chopped
1 x green large Capsicum, finely chopped
½ x a generous bunch of fresh Coriander, washed and finely chopped
3-4 x Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt and some Pepper, to your liking
3 x Tbsp Flour
4 x Eggs, room temperature
2 x tsp red chilli powder (or less if you can’t stand the heat)
½ x tsp Cumin
10 x drops (at least) of Tabasco – optional – (this Quiche does need some heat)

Method:
Drain the de-frosted corn and peas (separately!) in a small colander. Heat most of the oil in a wide pan, add onions, garlic and the entire chopped capsicum stir and cook at medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Let this mixture cool down a bit and then add the coriander – stir.

Now ‘blitz’ the corn only until a very fine paste. Add this and the flour into a bowl, add your eggs and mix everything very well.

Combine the Capsicum mixture with the corn/flour/egg-mixture, stir and finally add more salt (if needed), Chilli powder, Cumin and of course Tabasco – stir once more.

In the meantime I have pre-heated my oven to 200 C. The total mixture gets filled into the flan dish and baked in the oven for ca 45 minutes.

Since ovens vary I recommend you check around the 45 minutes stage. In my case I switch off but leave the dish in the oven. Do not let the Quiche get dry – slightly moist is delicious.

This dish is equally good warm or cold; I happily freeze any left-overs.

So, that’s it again – enjoy – Guten Appetit.
Carina

KOHLRABI

I love vegetables and salads – I really do.

Looking at some of the posts and sites on the Internet I see that quite a few are flooded with what I like to call the “fashionable vegetable of the week”. In most cases I cannot get those here which is as well, since I hesitate joining the general bandwagon – instead I prefer to dig deeper into my recipe box from around the world and go for the “old fashioned” dishes – some forgotten for a couple of decades (or more?) because they ran out of favour with the young fashionable cooks.

Germans just love their kohlrabi and children do in particular. It’s so versatile; it can be eaten raw (in salads for example) or cooked. The normal standard way to serve cooked kohlrabi is with a delicious simple butter/cream/lots-of-black-pepper sauce. The vegetable is either sliced into small cubes but mostly into small ‘French fries’.

To be honest I happily could eat myself through the many many recipes which I learned from my own family and friends all those years ago and now that our Hypermarket started stocking those little “Sputniks” (as we children then called them) they will be used in my kitchen a lot.

I made this dish a few days ago when yet again we had to be out and about and did not feel like eating, as we normally do, in a Restaurant in town. I made this dish the night before, kept in the fridge and re-heated on 200 C in my (gas-)oven. This was a good decision and I enjoyed my Kohlrabi a lot.

Today I will not give you the exact measurements here, since it all depends on the size of the individual vegetable and your personal requirements. So, do what I do in situations like this, be flexible!!!

Basmati rice, cooked and kept aside
2 x or more kohlrabi, peeled
1 x carrot, peeled and very finely chopped
1 x large onion, chopped finely
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
1 x dollop of butter
Pinch of salt and a generous! pinch of black pepper
¼ l of the kohlrabi cooking liquid
2 x Tbsp of cream
3 x Tbsp of nice cheese, like Gouda or strong cheddar, grated

Cut peeled kohlrabi in half and boil in salted water for 15-25 minutes (again, check, because it all depends on their size) When cooked and cooled down ready to handle, scoop out some of the inside without damaging the walls.

Now for the sauce; heat butter on medium heat, add chopped onion, the carrot and the scooped out kohlrabi flesh and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add cooking liquid and cream; slowly cook for a few more minutes. Take off flame and add ½ of the grated cheese, mix.

Take an oven-safe dish and add the kohlrabi.

Fill the kohlrabi with the cooked rice and spoon the sauce over the vegetables, with the remaining cheese sprinkled over this.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for app. 30 minutes or so (again – you will have to check – oven heat various and once again, in the end it all depends on the size of the vegetables.)

That’s it – ready – enjoy – Guten Appetit.

Namaskaram
Carina

Gratin with just a little ‘kick’

Our version of ‘Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin

Maybe one of you dear Reader Friends has been to an English Public School? You have? Oh, then of course you will NOT recognise this particular version of the (in-) famous school “Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin”, since I have tried to give it a little bit of Carina’s flavouring.

And since my family and I always liked this home-made Gratin I now like to share this recipe with you in the hope that you might as well.
It goes well with chicken and meat but is also just lovely by itself, the amount of grated cheese and red chilli flakes added will have to be to your personal liking (but do not amiss all together, since this dish needs a little ‘kick’).

So without further ado here is my version for you hopefully to prepare for your family as either a side dish or a main meal.

For just 2 people I suggest:

1 x small broccoli, broken into smallish florets
1 x small cauliflower, broken into smallish florets
¼ x cup of natural plain thick yoghurt
½ x of grated sharp cheddar cheese
A sprinkling of dry red chilli flake, depending on your heat tolerance
1 ½ x tsp wholegrain mustard
2 x Tbsp or so of breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

In lightly salted boiling water cook broccoli and cauliflower for maybe 8 minutes or until they are just tender. Do not over-cook the vegetables!

Drain well and transfer to a lightly buttered flameproof dish.

In a bowl mix together yoghurt, red chilli flakes (if used), mustard and grated cheese, and of course also with salt and pepper. When this is done spoon over your vegetables.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and grill under a pre-heated grill until golden brown.

Serve hot with maybe a chunk of French bread.

That’s it – all done – Guten Appetit.
Namaskaram
Carina