Markklosschen Suppe mit Fladle

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Ethnic, Food Porn, Oma, Recipes, Step by Step

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…

Cheesesteak Stromboli

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Porn, New Jersey, Recipes, Step by Step

I moved to Ohio from South Jersey about 12 years ago, and one of the things that I quickly found out upon moving is that although you can find a “stromboli” here, the Ohio version of a stromboli is absolutely nothing like a New Jersey one.

cs_yum

So over the past decade, I’ve searched high and low for a cheesesteak stromboli. No such luck. Even the places that carried both cheesesteaks and strombolis wouldn’t make one for me, even if I told them exactly how to make it. I’ve sated the craving over time by just making sure I pick one up the once a year or so I go back to South Jersey to visit.

So imagine my excitement when I got a call yesterday from my mother and her boyfriend inviting us to come over for dinner last night for cheesesteak strombolis. You better believe that we accepted that invitation in a heartbeat! And now that I know how easy it is to make an extremely credible version of one, you can rest assured I’ll be making these myself from now on.

You start with about 2-3 lbs. (depending on how meaty you want them) of Philly steak (if you go to Schumann’s Meats on the West Side and ask them for “Philly Steak, chipped” they’ll know exactly what you mean) – if not, ask your local butcher to chip either tri-tip or round. Slice a large onion and a green peper, and put it in a pan with a little bit of oil to brown. Here’s a pic of the steak and veggies during the browning process.

cs_meatvegs

Once the meat is done, let it sit a couple minutes to drain, and in the meantime, roll out a ball of pizza dough (either make your own, or buy it – we got ours at Trader Joe’s) into a rectangle. Place the cooked meat in a line down the middle, and top it liberally with pizza sauce (we used some I had canned last summer with local tomatoes) and chopped fresh basil.

cs_meatsauce

Top liberally with mozzarella cheese.

cs_meatsaucecheese

To fold it up, fold the ends inward, and bring the top and bottom toward the middle, kind of like making a burrito. Flip it over so the seams are directly on the cookie sheet. Top each one (this recipe should make 2) with a little more mozzarella cheese.

cs_ovenready

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven 15-20 minutes or until cheese on top is browned and bubbling. To serve, cut into slices.

It truly hit the spot. If you like calzones, give this a try. A great big thank you to my mother and Joe for having us over. :)

“Two Meals in One” Bolognese Sauce

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Porn, Recipes, Step by Step

Like I said, this month has been all about the convenience factor for me. I’ve been too under the weather to do any major cooking, so even my attempts at home were semi-homemade at best.

Case in point, this lasagna:

lasagna

I doctored up some jarred Ragu to make the Bolognese sauce, and used egg pasta sheets from the fresh aisle at Whole Foods. I’m sure that everyone reading has made lasagna before, so I’m just going to give you the recipe for the Bolognese. :) I’m just glad that I finally got the opportunity to break in my new Emile Henry lasagna pan.

Shortcut Bolognese Sauce

2 jars Ragu (Marinara or Meat, your choice)
2 large onions, diced
2 sweet peppers (red or green), diced
1 stick Margherita pepperoni, diced
5 carrots, diced
1/2 lb. loose Sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup red wine
2 tbsp. olive oil

Saute veggies in olive oil until they begin to soften, and then add meat – saute until browned. Drain fat, and then deglaze pan with wine and cook over medium heat until it reduces by half. Add tomato sauce, and allow to simmer for at least an hour, but less than two.

So anyway, we had quite a bit of sauce left after making the lasagna, so we waited a couple of days and made the Italian equivalent of pastitsio by cooking and buttering (plus adding Parmesan cheese to) fresh fusilli (we got ours at Jungle Jim’s, but non-Ohioans can also get it on the web on the Isola site.) We placed the already cooked fusilli on the bottom of a casserole dish.

pasta1

On top of the pasta, we placed the reheated bolognese and sprinkled it with a bit of Parmesan:

pasta2

And on top, went a very tasty bechamel sauce (we used this recipe, which husband was kind enough to cook PERFECTLY.) We sprinkled this with a little more Parmesan as well.

pasta3

After about 40 minutes of baking (let it go more if you like the bechamel to get a darker brown), this was the finished product:

pasta4

Not pretty to look at, but boy did it hit the spot! Like my husband quipped to me tonight, “there’s nothing like having your leftovers generate leftovers.” Too bad I’m too late to get in on the Leftover Tuesdays event.

 

Pernil & Arroz con Frijoles Colorados (Roast Pork with Rice and Red Beans)

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Ethnic, Food Porn, New Jersey, Recipes, Step by Step

When I moved to Columbus from Vineland, New Jersey over ten years ago, I moved away from much of the culture and the heritage I grew up with. Vineland, a small town smack dab in the middle of South Jersey, has very large Puerto Rican and Italian populations, so much of the food you could get there was – yup, you guessed it – Puerto Rican or Italian. Authentico. Which means that this New Jersey transplant is very disappointed when it comes to Columbus’ (non-existant) Puerto Rican cuisine. And the only place I’ve been able to find authentic (at least the sort of authentic I grew up with) Italian food in town is at Carfagna’s – and that’s not even a restaurant. I do admit, The Florentine comes somewhat close, but something is still missing from their food that the stuff from Carfagna’s has in spades – the comfort factor. Carfagna’s meat ravioli and meatballs and to die for marinara taste like they could have come from your Nonna’s kitchen – you can almost hear the “manga, manga – you’re too skinny” as you’re trying to push yourself away from the table after your second serving. And no, I’m neither Italian or Puerto Rican – but the great thing about Italian and Puerto Rican mothers is that they pretty much adopt anyone who spends any amount of time at their house as one of their own. Luckily, most of my friends were Italian or Puerto Rican growing up, so I learned to cook from the best. :) But I digress.

Roast Pork and Rice and Beans

I miss Puerto Rican food. I miss going to the Margarita Penalvert Food Deli on the Boulevard in Vineland and getting enough food for $5 to last me two or three meals (a small rice and beans, for example, fills your average sized white styrofoam take out container to overflowing). A large? More than enough for a large family. They’ve got the best roast pork and rice and beans in town. This dish is dedicated to them. The best of the best, nothing ever comes close, you’ve got to eat it to believe it comfort food dish of all time. This is the dish you can make for a potluck and have everyone in the office ask you for a recipe.

First things first. To make pernil (roast pork), it’s important to have the right cut of meat. Traditionally, it’s made with a pork shoulder (preferably with skin on) or picnic roast, but can be also be made with a pork blade roast. Whatever you use, be sure that it’s a fatty cut, as that (combined with the paste below) is where most of your flavor is coming from. Pork loin won’t cut it for this dish. A 3-5 lb. roast should do quite nicely. If you pick a cut that isn’t pork shoulder with skin, make sure the meat has a nice fat layer on it, which you want to leave untrimmed. This definitely isn’t diet food.

Making Pernil Step 2

The most important component of the dish (other than the meat) is the paste – this is where your flavor and seasoning is coming from. This is what makes the dish so memorable. You’ll need at least four packets of Sazon (with Annato), a container of Goya Adobo seasoning (both can be found locally at either Giant Eagle or one of the many Latino markets in town), and a bottle of olive oil. Empty the packets into a bowl, add an equal amount of Adobo, and enough olive oil to form a paste. At this point, keep adding Adobo and olive oil to maintain the paste consistency (you want it to be able to be spread easily, but don’t want it to be extremely watery) until you have about the amount of paste shown in the picture below.

Making Pernil Step 1

You can make more if you like your meat highly seasoned, but this is the minimum amount you want to be making. I’ve left the fork in the picture for scale.

Place the pork roast in a bowl slightly larger than the roast. With a sharp knife, pierce the roast deeply on all sides, twisting the knife once it’s inserted. Use your fingers to widen the holes. Scoop up the adobo-oil paste and stuff it into the holes until all holes are thoroughly filled with the paste. Rub any remaining paste all over the outside of the roast.

Making Pernil Step 3

Return the roast to the bowl, and fill the bowl 2/3 full of white distilled vinegar. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight, turning the roast over after 4 hours. Here is a picture of what it will look like after marinating all night.

Making Pernil Step 4

Remove the roast from the bowl and discard the vinegar. Place the roast in a 5-6 quart dutch oven or similar oven-safe pot, cover tightly, and let cook in 275 degree oven for 6-8 hours or until the meat is fall-apart tender and a good amount of liquid is in the pot with the roast.

Making Pernil Step 6

This liquid is very much like a highly seasoned au jus that you can use to season the meat and/or red beans and rice by drizzling some on top.

With this dish, you’ll want to serve a side of Rice and Beans. Typically, this is served with Arroz con Gandules, but we prefer Red Beans and Rice, because it complements the dish so well.

Red Beans and Rice

1/3 cup olive oil
2 packets Goya chicken bouillon
4 packets Sazon with Annato
3/4 cup Goya (or comparable brand) Sofrito
3/4 cup Goya (or comparable brand) Recaito
2 cups dry medium grain rice
1 15oz. can small red beans, drained
2 cups water

Combine oil, bouillon, Sazon, sofrito, recaito, and rice in nonstick saucepan over medium heat until mixture is thoroughly combined with rice and rice has taken on a deep red color.

Add two cups water. Add drained can of red beans and stir well. Cover and cook on stovetop at medium heat until almost all liquid has been absorbed. Turn the rice and beans from top to bottom, reduce heat to the lowest setting possible, cover and cook 10 minutes. Turn the rice and beans from top to bottom again then cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve. The adobo pork’s au jus makes an excellent seasoning for this side dish.

The pork freezes well, so if you have a small family, don’t let the fact that it’s a roast put you off from making it. It really is easier than it sounds, and your taste buds will thank you.