Posts tagged Tasty

Schoko-Reis

Last week Theo was chatting with a guest in the market about some of the great candy & chocolate that they enjoyed in Germany. When Christina got home from her visit last month we spent some time talking about the difference of the options found abroad. She said a common trend that she noticed was how in Germany the chocolates were smoother and not overly sweet. Most confections were either light & fluffy or packed with marzipan, fruits or nuts.  Taking a look at the candy & chocolate variety we are able to carry at the market that would seem to be the case.

When the guest came through to check out she had a package of the milk chocolate Schoko-Reis. It was then that my curiosity was really piqued and proceeded to eat away at the back of my mind until I gave in. I grabbed the same kind she had and went back to my desk to see what this was all about. Since my German comprehension is minimal at best I was at least able to understand the front of the package: chocolate with rice puffs.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I opened the package because for something so large the lightness in weight was a little surprising.  It is divided into 2 wide rows of 6 that were thick enough that I had to exert a little bit of muscle to snap the pieces apart. This is certainly sized for sharing with others!

ImageFrom the top it looks like any other chocolate treat; when I flipped it over I was surprised to see that it looked almost like a rice crispy, which shows just how packed it really is with rice puffs. As with any first bite of something chocolaty it’s a pleasant experience. It’s is just as sweet & smooth as I have come to expect from German chocolate, and exactly as Christina said, not overly sweet. The rice was far fluffier than I had expected since I was thinking of a rice crispy or a Krackle bar. This was similar to both but still very distinctive because it was so packed with puffed rice. I think that because of the rice it just felt so light, not heavy like most of my normal chocolate driven indulgences. 

As good as the milk chocolate is I can only imagine how wonderful the dark chocolate would be.  Perhaps one of my wonderful readers can come in and try one for me, since I have two weddings to prepare for next year I have to better with my sweet tooth….guess next time I’ll be writing about a salad.

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A Meaty Treat

It’s always exciting when we get new things in the store and last week was no exception. We have been working on making it possible to get in the quality products from Stiglmeier Sausage Co. for some time. At long last we are able to bring in 40 new items to add to our deli case and freezer. Some of them are more familiar and easier to recognize, others…not so much, but that is why I am here writing about all the fantastic food from Germany and other parts of Europe.

Stiglmeier ButchersThe nice thing about Stiglmeier is that like the Hollerbach’s it is a family owned operation. Anton & Gertraud Stiglmeier immigrated to Chicago where in 1960 they started the Stiglmeier Sausage Company, using traditional Bavarian and other German recipes.

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The items I’ve tried today are 3 smoked sausages that can be eaten directly from the display case.

Kilometer- Smoked, Spicy Hungarian Sausage. Not overly spicy, especially at first after a moment there was a very pleasant burn, very tasty. Blows a slim jim out of the water, more moist with a nice pepper taste.

Gyulai- Smoked, Spicy Hungarian Sausage. Spicier than the kilometer, meatier, crunchier skin, densely packed but softer than a pepperoni stick

Debreziner- Mild, Smoked Pork Sausage of German origin. The least spicy but still so full of flavor. It was also slightly more fatty than the other two.

<Stiglmeier information found on http://www.stiglmeier.com/story.aspx

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The First Adventure with Raw (pickled) Herring

I’m not sure what it is about the raw pickled fish products that we have make me so hesitant to try on my own. I love fish & eat sushi whenever the opportunity arises, but Rollmops, Bismark Herring & Matjes constantly weird me out when I think about trying them. I think part of the reason is because most of my blog content are items that can be enjoyed right out of the package.  When I came in to work this morning I knew that I needed to find something to write about. Since I have some amazing co-workers I wanted to try and mix it up a little today. I asked Chris if he could make something simple from the items we have in the market. Something that would be fairly quick to put together, Chris is a Chef from Germany so he walked right out took 2 seconds to look around and asked if I liked fish and if I’d ever had the Matjes fillets.

From there he grabbed a package of the Matjes and a jar of Pickled Gherkins and disappeared into the kitchen. Curiosity got the best of me and I went back to see what he was doing.  He slivered half an onion, half of a Granny Smith Apple and several of the small Pickled Gherkins. He put them in a mixing bowl with 3 table spoons of Vinegar & Mayo, adding Sugar & Salt. The fillet’s he cut in one inch pieces and mixed them all together.

He then peeled and boiled some potatoes 35min.  Once he pulled them from the water he halved them and sautéed them with butter, salt, pepper & celery leaves. This simple side was (in my opinion) pretty crucial to the dish.

While he was fixing the rest I stole away with the remaining jar of Gherkins. I have a sincere fondness for good pickles. The Kuhne Pickled Gherkins are what I would call high quality. They were crisp and absolutely out of this world with a sweetness that comes from the sugar that is added, just enough sweetness to make the vinegar taste milder.  It has pieces of onion, mustard seeds and red peppers marinating in the jar that are so tasty. They were just bigger than what I would consider a cocktail size but would still be a great addition to a small platter.

I was surprised when Chris presented me with a pretty plate of Matjes Haus Frauen Art (Housewife style). I took one bite of the fish by itself and loved the taste; the texture however really was not something I enjoyed since I’m not a fan of slimy & slick. He told me to eat it in combination with the potato. Cutting a slice of the potato and forking a piece of the potato was MUCH better. I also took a bite of the fish with a forkful of the onion, apple & pickle slices.

Sydney had also arrived in time to partake of our co-workers culinary skills. She thought it was also scrumptious, especially the potatoes. We all finished with potatoes left over and absolutely delighted in mixing the potatoes into the sauce.

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Goose Liverwurst for lunch

Goose Liver Sausage…sounds fascinating doesn’t it? Having worked in the restaurant for several years I became a big fan of our Liverwurst sandwich on German bread with onions and pickles, that liverwurst is mostly pig liver. Today I wanted to try something that was familiar but different.  Looking over the options in the cooler of Bloodwurst, Calves Liver Pate, and 2 kinds of Teewurst the Goose liver just seemed like the way to go.

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Chatting with Sydney while fixing my plate we decided it would be best to stay somewhat traditional with my sample. So instead of using slices of German bread I chose to pull a crunchy brotchen from the bakery rack, and laid out some pickle & onion slices. It was easily spread on the bread halves and I was surprised to see several small liver chunks and I noticed that its color was lighter than the Schaller & Webber brand we use other times. On one slice I added spicy mustard and my veggie fixings, and then it was off to my desk to pull out my note pad and dig in.

I sampled a small slice on its own to get the full taste and flavor. Slightly smoky it tasted very much like the liverwurst had with the exception that this was slightly sweeter with a very nice aftertaste.

It was wonderful when spread out on my crunchy brotchen, and even better with the mustard, pickles and onion. It was a small lunch with a mighty punch! I only used a quarter of the package, the rest I shared with my co-workers. Just a taste and it was gone, a great treat for everyone.

For a really creative party idea I’d like to say liverwurst is also really handy when making a unique visual (and edible) piece on a buffet table. I never would have considered molding and sculpting pate, but Chef Linda has created some adorable Liverwurst pigs on a few occasions and I think they are just the most unique looking arrangements I’ve ever seen.

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Corned Beef & Cabbage? YES PLEASE!

Erin Go Bragh!

Ok ok ok so maybe “Ireland Forever!” is not the best thing to shout out in a German deli, but it sure made me smile and really gets me excited for St. Patrick’s Day.

What has become a tradition in my house is the Willow Tree’s special Corned Beef and Cabbage.  Usually during the one week its available my husband and I will have one plate a day…for seven days. By the last day we are so full of it we are only too happy wait until next year.

The corned beef is so tender and juicy, with the most delicious briny taste. The red potatoes are always done just right, and served next to our freshly braised cabbage, onions & our favorite Applewood Smoked Bacon.  Together they fill the plate, covering it in a hearty mound of joy. Served on the side is our special Dijon Mustard Egg Sauce, I usually order an extra because it is just SO GOOD to dip the potatoes and drizzle over the corned beef and cabbage.

Because we’ve had so many requests it has been decided that while we can, we will offer the steamship round corned beef at Magnolia Square Market!  So now I can enjoy a full plate for lunch and take home some corned beef for a nice Irish style home cooked dinner. Hmmm I’m thinking a side of colcannon and some hot cross buns…is it dinner time yet?

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Feb 3rd National Carrot Cake Day!

 

I have to say that I’m so happy the bossman shared the news of this great day early in the morning. Because what a nice way to begin the work day than with a nice muffin and a cup of coffee.  Chef Lisa began making GF Carrot Cake Muffins for the bakery a few weeks ago and they’ve been such a big hit.

     Now I’ve been pretty good about keeping away from sweets lately, but today I wanted to be bad with something that tasted really good. I sampled a piece of carrot cake from the Willow Tree Café & Magnolia Square Market’s GF Carrot Cake Muffin. So bring on the sugar rush!

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The Willow Tree’s cake is made with freshly slivered carrots, crushed walnuts and California golden raisins. It’s moist and wonderful with an excellent texture. Spread in between the layers is a fruity apricot jam. What’s nice is that the brown sugar gives it just the right amount of spice, without completely overshadowing the cake. Not that it’s something to worry about because our bakers always make a lot of cream cheese frosting, so they can use a generous amount when icing (it’s also to help the crushed walnut stay on the sides). To top off the cake, each slice gets a fondant carrot as decoration.

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The GF carrot cake muffins are so delicious! It’s similar to our carrot cake in that we use the fresh slivered carrots. Because Chef Lisa is using Gluten Free flour it’s still moist but the texture is a little more dense than the cake. She also leaves the crushed walnuts for the topping. She pipes a nice layer over the tops of the muffins and then sprinkles the walnuts over for an easy and effective decorative look that reminds me of a cupcake.

Well I hope everyone enjoys this special occasion, I know that I’ll be okay once I come down from my sugar high.

HAVE A GREAT DAY!

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