Markklosschen Suppe mit Fladle

If there’s one recipe that brings me right back to my childhood, standing on a stool in the kitchen looking over my Oma’s shoulder, this is it. This is a dish I remember fondly, and it was one of my favorites – so much so that my Oma would have to watch me like a hawk lest I pilfer away the dumplings by eating them raw. The concept of Markklosschen (Bone Marrow Dumplings) sounds strange to most in this day and age, but it takes the best part of the cow, where all of the flavor is at, and condenses it into meatball size. I had to try to find the recipe from memory, and had a bit of difficulty (trial and error, I’ll need to keep working on it) – the fleisch bruhe (meat consomme) and fladle (egg pancake noodles) came out exactly how I remembered, but the dumpling recipe I used ended up much tougher than I remembered. If you try to replicate the dish, use this recipe for the Markklosschen instead – it sounds much closer to my grandmothers recipe than the one I used. It’s a two day process – you make the consomme on the first day and allow it to chill overnight (this lets the fat rise and harden on the surface, so you can skim it off). You make the rest of the components on the day you’re making it. It is very time consuming, but well worth making. There’s enough consomme from this recipe that you can use half for the soup and freeze the other half.

Markklosschen and Fladle Soup

The first day is all about making the consomme – you want to get a pair of huge marrow bones (they look like this and are available at Bluescreek in the North Market for a reasonable price) and about 9 lbs. of cross-cut shanks/soup beef (I got mine through Flying J Farms at the Clintonville Farmer’s Market, with a few pounds of supplemental ones that I got on discount at Giant Eagle). Harvest all of the soft marrow from the marrow bones (if you meet resistance, leave it be) and set aside. Leave the marrow in the cross-cut shanks intact, and then proceed with the recipe from here.

Fleischbruhe (Meat Broth)
recipe source unknown – found here

9 lb Bones and meat scraps; from beef, pork and/or veal (I used all beef)
8 qt Water
2 md Onions; char-burned (not sure what that is – just used regular onions)
2 ea Parsely roots; quartered (I omitted this)
4 md Carrots; quartered
4 ea Celery stalks w/leaves; cut in chunks
2 ea Leeks; trimmed, cut in chunks
18 ea Peppercorns, black
4 ea Cloves, whole
1 ea Bay leaf
2 tb Salt

Preheat oven to 375F. Place bones and meat in large roasting pan – roast
until browned (took about an hour). Place water, roasted bones and meat in large stockpot.

Cover, bring to a boil – skim foam from surface until clear. Reduce heat – cook, uncovered, 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients, recover – simmer 3 hours.

Strain broth, discarding meat scraps, bones and cooked vegetables. Cool, pour into quart or pint containers with tight lids. Refrigerate, lift fat with fork and discard. Refrigerate 2 days or freeze 3 months. Bring broth to a full boil before using. (Important: Salt and pepper to taste!)

My grandmother used to not discard the leftover meat (she was a frugal woman), and instead (according to my mother) would serve it with boiled potatoes and creamed cabbage. Paul wasn’t too crazy for that idea so I ate what meat I could as a protein snack and gave the rest to the dogs for a treat.

Either way, after chilling overnight, the recipe produces a very flavorful consomme that gels beautifully. Just look at this wiggle:

Gelatinous Consomme

I prepared the markklosschen early in the afternoon (again, don’t use the recipe I used – use the one I linked to above) and then rolled them out into small balls in preparation for putting them into the soup. I put them in the fridge after they were rolled out.

Markklosschen

As I was heating up the consomme (I used about a gallon or so) on the stovetop, I started the batter for the fladle. After mixing it up, it should be a little thicker than crepe batter.

Fladle Batter

Fladle
recipe courtesy Recipe Cottage

200 g flour (1 3/4 cups)
2 eggs
1/4 l milk (1 cup plus 1 Tbsp)
1 pinch salt
Fat for frying

Mix the flour and milk, then add the eggs, and season with salt.
In a skillet, melt a little fat over medium heat. As soon as the
fat is hot, hold the skillet at a slight angle and pour in the
batter in such a manner that the whole bottom of the skillet is
covered with a thin layer. As soon as the bottom of the pancake
develops yellow spots, carefully loosen the edges with an egg
turner, then flip the pancake to cook the other side. Once the
‘Flaedle’ is done, set it aside for cooling.

If the ‘Flaedle’ is to be used in ‘Flaedle’-soup, roll it up and
cut it into very thin slices. Put into hot broth, and adjust
seasoning to taste, with nutmeg, chopped parsley or chives, etc.

(BTW, if you sweeten the batter with some sugar, and add some sliced apples, you have apfelpfankuchen (apple pancakes), another one of my favorites.)

By now, the consomme should be boiling – put in the markklosschen and turn down the heat to touch. Cook them until they float to the top and are tender inside. Think of them as compact matzoh balls and go for the same (but just a tad denser) consistency.

After frying the fladle in oil until gold-light brown, you want to cool them down and then roll them up and slice them thinly. You’ll end up with a big batch of “egg noodles”

Fladle

To finish the soup, toss the sliced fladle into the consomme with the markklosschen. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Not a perfect rendition of Oma’s dish, but damn close. I’ll keep working on it. When I was talking to my mother on the phone today, she told me she found some of Oma’s handwritten recipes (in German) that she’s going to scan in and send to me to see if I can decipher them. I can’t wait! Wish me luck…

Barefoot Bloggers: Coeur a la Creme

Well, this is my last “official” post as a Barefoot Blogger, and what better recipe than the one I chose for the Bonus Round. I looked through all the Ina Garten recipes on the Food Network site in trying to choose, and this one just appealed to me because of the use of fresh fruit – we’re nearing the end of raspberry season here in Ohio, and what better way to use them? A Coeur a la Creme is literally translated, “a cream heart” and they make special molds for the dish – little did I know that you are supposed to line it with cheesecloth even if you’re using the mold – duh! At any rate, after I fixed that small glitch, it unmolded beautifully.

Coeur a la Creme

And about the texture and taste? Amazing. Smooth and fluffy like a mousse, rich like a cheesecake – this is up there with creme brulee when it comes to my favorites. Here’s a close up picture where you can see the texture (and flecks of vanilla) of the cream and of the raspberry sauce. The raspberry sauce tastes divine, but then again, I think that Grand Marnier and berries were made for each other. Desserts like *this* will make it tough to stay on the straight and narrow. ;)

Coeur a la Creme Texture

I’m glad I took the time to invest in the specialty mold. Eventually, I’m going to try to lighten this recipe and see if still tastes nearly as good. The recipe makes twice as much as it needs to – if you get the dish, just half everything and you should be fine.

I’ll miss you, Barefoot Bloggers, and will be cheering the rest of you on from the sidelines!

Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce
recipe courtesy Ina Garten

12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce, recipe follows
2 half-pints fresh raspberries

Place the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the beater and bowl with a rubber spatula and change the beater for the whisk attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the heavy cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and vanilla bean seeds and beat on high speed until the mixture is very thick, like whipped cream.

Line a 7-inch sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels so the ends drape over the sides and suspend it over a bowl, making sure that there is space between the bottom of the sieve and the bottom of the bowl for the liquid to drain. Pour the cream mixture into the cheesecloth, fold the ends over the top, and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, discard the liquid, unmold the cream onto a plate, and drizzle Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce around the base. Serve with raspberries and extra sauce.

Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce:
1 half-pint fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)

Place raspberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and orange liqueur into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.

Yield: 2 cups

A Change in Focus

As most of you know, I had a revision to my gastric bypass back in January, to an extremely malabsorptive surgery that means that my body doesn’t absorb much of what I take in. Because of that, what I take in has an order of priority – protein first, then veggies, then carbs, and I should be avoiding sugar. I have been kind of blowing that off a bit in recent months, and now my health is starting to suffer for it. My weight loss has stalled, and I’ve been running into issues where my levels of protein and iron are really much lower than they should be. So much so, that I’ve been losing hair like crazy. So with my health in mind, I’ve really got to change to focus of the way I’ve eat, concentrating on that which is good for me, and cutting out (or at the very least, cutting down on) that which is hurting me.

Not only that, but the downturn in the economy is hitting us especially hard, and we’ve been trying to cut costs as much as possible. I’ve been participating in a lot of weekly/biweekly/monthly events, like Tuesdays with Dorie, Taste and Create, the Barefoot Bloggers and Whisk Wednesdays, where I’ve made a committment to make certain things at a certain time. Often, because of that, I end up having to make things I would normally never make or eat, and then the results get given away or thrown away – a huge waste that I just can’t afford anymore.

So from here on out, the focus is going to be on eating what I need to eat – high protein, lower or better carb, lower (or no) sugar, fat doesn’t matter. I’m pulling myself out of all the recurring events like the ones mentioned above. I’ll cook along (since the recipes are listed for the groups) when I can, or when it fits into my plans or lifestyle. The change will be gradual, as I still have a ginormous backlog of posts (like 40+) that will be sprinkled throughout intermittently. Does this mean I’ll never make pasta? Or desserts? Or cook with sugar? Or eat out? On the contrary. I’ll still be doing that, but on my terms, and what fits into my lifestyle. I’ve been so obsessed with blogging events that I’ve let it take over my menu planning. If something in my backlog happens to fit in with an event, or a planned dish coincides with an event, sure I’ll still participate.

Gluttony got me where I am now. And with all of the desserts and rich foods I’ve been making, I’ve fallen back into bad habits. Right now my health is the most important thing. And this food blog still fits into the equation, but as with me, it evolves. It still has a Columbus focus, it still is about what I cook and where I go out to eat, it’s still about eating local and visiting the farmers markets, just in a different (more healthy and frugal) way. I hope to cook my way through my huge pantry and freezer stores by the end of the year (gotta clean house in order to make room for the more healthy stuff). I hope those of you who come here for my event posts will still visit, as I will still visit (and comment when I can) on all of your blogs.

And for those of you who aren’t into that sort of thing, and who won’t visit anymore because of the change of focus (and I hope that there aren’t many of you), I want to give you a hearty and hearfelt goodbye. Your visits and supportive comments over the course of this blog have meant the world to me, and I’m sad to see you go. Please do take the time to say goodbye, as I’ll miss you.

Meanwhile, onward and upward, and hopefully I’ll see the numbers on the scale go down while the protein and iron climb up. :)

Taste & Create: Kits Chow

tastecreate

Trying to get my Taste & Create entry posted this month has been a complete and utter comedy of errors. First, stupid me waited until the last minute to get this done. Mistake #1. Partially because there were so many awesome recipe on Kit’s Chow that I had a hard time deciding. I had finally decided on making her Sweet and Sour Caramelized Pork Spare Ribs, even went and got the stuff I needed to make it, then my husband read the recipe and nixed it because of the part of the recipe that said “the only drawback is that the kitchen will smell of grease and smoke. So be sure to turn on the range hood and open alll the windows” – with guests coming on the weekend, I guess the last thing he wanted was a kitchen that smelled like a kitchen. So I got overruled.

So then I had decided on making the Wok Fried Mac recipe – again, even made sure I had all the ingredients. Since I was running really late already, I had planned on making it Friday night for Paul’s family when they got here. Then (somewhat due to food dislikes of our guests) we ended up having to change the menu completely, so it got taken off the menu in lieu for something more to their liking.

I even played around with the idea of making the Spinach with Garlic, but then decided against it because I felt it would be a cop out to make such a simple side dish and call it my entry. But time is ticking along, and at this point, I wanted to make SOMETHING good, just nothing that would take a lot of time or effort in shopping for (in other words, whatever I made, I wanted it to be something I already had all the ingredients for).
So in the end, I decided on her Microwave Chocolate Pudding. Let me just apologize in advance for probably the most unappetizing photo you’ll ever see here on Columbus Foodie. I honestly debated about whether I was going to post it or not. But I figured that you all like reading about the mistakes as well as the successes, so here it is in all of its glory. It tasted much better than it looks, I promise.

Lumpy Chocolate Pudding

I think my mistake was that I followed the recipe (microwave included) rather than making it on the stovetop like she did. It met the same fate that almost all of my attempts at chocolate pudding face – it was so very, very lumpy. But the flavor was good (make sure you use a good brand of cocoa powder – I used Penzey’s), similar but so much better than what you get at the supermarket. Now, if I could just get the lumps out…

Bear in mind that this reflects completely on us and not on her recipe. Hers came out smooth as can be. I’m a pudding disaster waiting to happen. Give the recipe a try, but make sure you follow her modifications when you do. :)

TWD: Summer Fruit Galette

twd

The recipe that Michelle in Colorado Springs chose for this week’s edition of Tuesdays with Dorie was a timely one, as I had a collection of stone fruit that I picked up this past weekend that really needed to be used up one way or the other. What I didn’t have, however, was a lot of time, so I took a short cut and used a Pillsbury crust. I really wish I would have had the time to make it from scratch, but that wasn’t in the cards.

Mixed Fruit Galette

The galette, despite using pre-made crust, was quite delicious. I find that too often fruit pies are too sweet – the custard topping lent just the right amount of sweetness to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit, not overpower it. For the fruit, I used a combination of plums, peaches, and apricots. Fantastic, and we wiped it out (along with my mom having a piece) in one sitting. This one is a keeper.

One Local Summer 2008 – Week 8

onelocalsummer

Well, I had a really busy weekend so I am way behind, so I’m getting this in too late to make the roundup but here it is nonetheless. This week was so hectic that I had almost no time to cook at all, and what I made for One Local Summer is about as basic as it gets.

Fried Bologna and Sweet Corn

Inspired by the Fried Bologna sandwich at G&R Tavern, here is my almost local verison of it. Only the roll and condiments are non-local. The Leona Bologna and the Smoked Pepper Jack cheese came from Thurn’s, and the pickles and the candy onions both came from 2 Crows (bought at the Worthington Farmers Market). The sweet corn came from Rhoads (North Market), I believe. Super simple to make – just saute the bologna in a frying pan until brown, and throw it on bun with some cheese and the aforementioned condiments.

Not every week is a gourmet fest around here. :) Keep an eye out for the other stuff I’m late posting about, like Taste and Create, Tastes Like Home, etc. I’m planning on putting a full day in tomorrow catching up, sorry for the inadvertent lack of posting.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce – 7/26/08

This weekend is a little different than most, as we have family visiting from Pennsylvania – nonetheless, I still wanted to keep my Saturday morning farmers market ritual, and Paul’s sister came along with us this morning. We got a fairly early start on this cloudy, cool and humid day, and got to the North Market around 7:30. After getting a full pound of mushrooms (okonomiyaki is on the menu this weekend!) from Toby Run, I wandered around a bit, and picked up some eggplant, poblano peppers, regular and grape tomatoes and cabbage from Wishwell Farms, along with some plums and a couple of other things from some of the other vendors. Kevin from Just This Farm finally has harvested his hard neck garlic, it’s not to be missed.

Hard Neck Garlic

After some detours (it looks like there was some kind of race going on downtown today), we headed to Worthington, and got there before 8:30 – it was already packed again with everything in full swing. It looks like the harvest season is finally here in most of its glory, with plenty of corn, peaches and other stone fruit, the first of the heirloom tomatoes, and several other things. The spring flowers have crossed over into summer, with all manner of sunflowers, and these unidentified beauties:

Flowers

I couldn’t resist picking up a bunch of carrots from The Golden Beet Farm – their produce always looks so fresh and lovely, and their setup is so darn appealing – this is one of my favorite vendors at Worthington. I also picked up some baby squash here to grill later this week.

Carrots

And although I’m not a beet fan, another vendor at Worthington had these beets that almost had me convinced to give them another try.

Beets

And also at Worthington (novel idea, but I didn’t pick one up – this week) were these popcorn cobs – not sure how these work, but it looks like a great idea.

Popcorn

Finally it was off to Clintonville, which was a throng of people that was barely passable when I got there at 9:30. I waited in line to pick up my eggs and some donuts (didn’t get these today, but don’t these mini fry pies at the 2Silos stand look divine)?

Amish Fry Pies

After I picked up my eggs, I tried to gingerly make my way through the crowd, but I didn’t get very far because I was afraid my eggs were going to break because people were getting totally in my personal space. So we cut Clintonville short, but got what we came for. I was surprised to see Snowville Creamery there (as a reader told me they wouldn’t be there any more this season), and they let me know they’d come when there is space at the market (there’s no way for them to know that in advance). I did find out that they also sell at the Pearl Alley Market and one other (forgot the name – Jefferson? Jeffersonville?) in the area, so I’ll have to check those out.

Well, off to fire up the stove and cook. Sis-in-law is making stuffed cabbage rolls and I’ll be helping her roll. We just got done with a lovely local lunch of fried Leona bologna sandwiches and corn on the cob. I know I still have tons of posts to catch up on (including this month’s Taste & Create), but things have been hectic around here with visitors in town and I promise I’ll catch up soon.

So what markets did you go to today? What did you get, and what are you planning on making with it?

Joe’s Cole Slaw

My mother’s boyfriend Joe makes absolutely amazing cole slaw. Hell, his food in general is just amazing, but especially his cole slaw. I’m still trying to get him to give me the recipe. It’s tangy and sweet at the same time, with bits of carrot and red pepper and god knows what else.

Cole Slaw

It’s so cool that he’s such a foodie. I like cooking for him because he’s willing to try anything I put in front of him. Last week? I introduced him to truffle salt, red currant jelly, and a few other things. It’s wild to watch his face light up when he tries something (or a combination of foods) that he hasn’t had before. I wish all of my friends/family were as willing to try new things. So here’s to you, Joe, and your foodie leanings. :)

Barefoot Bloggers: Smoked Salmon Spread

It’s Barefoot Bloggers time again! This time around, our recipe is a smoked salmon spread. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it, because once again, smoked salmon is one of those things I’m “meh” about. If I want something cured, I’ll eat prosciutto. If I want fish, I’ll eat fish. I can take or leave smoked salmon, based on the preparation. So my expectations weren’t high. It turned out exactly as I expected, good but nothing that knocked my socks off. My mother (who loves smoked salmon) will love this.

Smoked Salmon Spread

Smoked Salmon Spread
recipe courtesy Ina Garten

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound (4 ounces) smoked salmon, minced

Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt, and pepper, and mix. Add the smoked salmon and mix well. Chill and serve with crudites or crackers.

If you can find it, I prefer Norwegian salmon; it’s drier and less salty than other smoked salmon.

Whisk Wednesdays: Veloute Agnes Sorel

Whisk Wednesdays 150x120

As usual, I’m bringing up the rear for Whisk Wednesdays, a day late and a dollar short. And I’m convinced that my luck with French soups is nil. I wouldn’t have thought that making a cream of chicken soup would be so difficult, but…

Cream of Chicken

Let’s just suffice it to say that we weren’t pleased by the soup. We followed the recipe to the letter, but ran into multiple problems. The first? The soup was BLAND. I mean really, really bland. When I make stock, it usually requires roasted bones, chicken feet, and tons of aromatics. I should have known something was up when the recipe said to boil the chicken for 1/2 hour. Let’s just say that the resulting broth tasted like a chicken was chased through it and took a crap on the trip through. We took to calling it “chicken water”.

Second problem – the soup just wouldn’t thicken. At all. We even tried the blonde roux method. Nada. Drippy. Not creamy. Yuck.

Third problem – it separated like crazy. We were going to keep it around and try to salvage it, but it separated into a cream layer and a chicken water layer and just looked gross. So another soup down the drain. :(

Next week is a Langoustine Bisque – not a big fan of langoustines, so not sure how or what I’m going to do to get around that problem. All I do know is that so far this cookbook sucks. :( And is responsible for a lot of expensive disasters. I hope things turn around soon, because I can’t afford to keep throwing the results into the disposal.