Friday, November 12, 2010

Today's Eats

Just a quick one today - I did end up baking that cranberry cake that I mentioned yesterday, but I'm going to post about that tomorrow morning, if I remember. Tomorrow I'm going to Food & Style, which is some sort of food exhibition being held in Cologne. There's cooking demonstrations going on, in segments with three chefs each, and I've bought tickets for two. I'm hoping it'll be good, and that my German skills will be up to the challenge. It'll be interesting to watch, if nothing else. So I'll keep you posted if I find anything interesting there.

Today's lunch, far from being exciting and gourmet, was very simple. I dry-fried tomatoes, which is a great way to get them to get all grilled and burnished on one side without spitting as they would if you fried them in oil. I just halved some small tomatoes and cooked them in a small pan - it was all very quaint. Some leftover kale from the huge batch that I'd cooked yesterday (I love having ready-to-eat food in my fridge) added to the veg component. I also ate some leftover olive bread with face-melting harissa, and a few almond-stuffed olives from the Turkish lady with her stall outside of the other Marktkauf. On the Olive Lady: she was practically throwing free samples away! She was also really friendly, and spoke to me in English when she heard that I was a foreigner - originally she asked if I was British. I think she was a little surprised to hear that I was Australian. I'm always confused as to whether to talk to people in English when they offer me the option. I'm quite fine with the basic German conversation involved in purchases from a market stall, so I feel a bit disappointed when I don't get to use it.

So, that's what my tomatoes looked like when I turned them over. It's ok to peek under and check one, to see if they're nice and burnished yet, but don't flip them until they are. It's so much easier to cook them with just one flip, because once you let them cook a little, they get quite soft inside. You don't want to risk having the seeds fall out, or having your tomato turn to mush.

So, tomatoes with garlic kale. This was seasoned generously with salt and pepper, and the tomatoes got a sprinkling of dried rosemary. The fresh stuff is notoriously elusive here. So, that was my quick I'm-starving-and-want-hot-food lunch. Dinner was even worse. I'm sorry to admit it, but I did eat some 'instant' food. My stomach isn't all that thrilled, but hey, sometimes it's nice to eat some junk food. So what did I eat? A burger, of course.

My burger patty was a soya schnitzel made by my friends at Alpro. Ok, so I'm not really friends with them, but I've given them so much of my money by buying their soy products that if I ever meet them, they'd better be damn friendly... ahem. Anyway, there were two in the packet, so I tried both methods of preparation, oven and frying pan. And both times, the patty came out very dry. You don't want to risk running out of sauce with this one! It was a chickenish sort of patty, with a quite nice flavour and really great crispy panko-style crust. The first patty was eaten yesterday, with some bbq sauce and a big salad. Today's made it onto a burger, which was slathered with dijon mustard, and had generous amounts of sliced tomato and roasted beet, for the extra moisture. It worked out fine - if anything, my main difficulty was eating it neatly, so that the tomato juice wouldn't run down my hands.

This is a shot of what went inside of the burger. You can see the feldsalat, which is definitely this year's favourite lettuce (I go through phases), tomato, beets and pickles. Yep, I like the occasional pickled product now... but only when it's crispy and vinegary. So really, I like the one brand of organic pickled cornichons that I found at the supermarket. Sweet pickles and soft pickles can still go to hell, as far as I'm concerned. But I always like to expand my palate a little, so I guess it's a start. (Actually, I think it started with the pickled daikon and carrot that gets put into banh mi, but whatever.) Anyway, highly processed burger patties aren't something that I'll eat regularly, but everyone likes a treat every now and then. A savoury treat, that is - I've been baking a lot of sweet ones lately! I'd have loved some vegan mayo on this...

Tomorrow comes the cranberry cake...

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