Month: November 2012

Two mouthwatering cabbage recipes

Posted on Updated on

German braised pork with curry and flat bread

In the 3. week of November the Wittelsbach square in Münich, Germany is being transformed into a Medieval city. Then it operates as an entertainment centre until Christmas. Beside the all kinds of gifts one can buy there, you may find excellent food stalls and bars for mulled wine. But what is really worth to taste (beside the games, wild boar, fish dishes) is a divine stew meal with saurkraut. It is called the Poor knight’s dinner (which is so rich in fat, that man can store up enough energy in the cold winter) and stylishly it is served in a crock pot with a flat bread. Just one more word to add: It’s too bad that you can’t feel the flavour of the food through the internet!

The recipe

Ingredients: 1 kg of pork tenderloin, 2 dl oil for cooking, 2 onions, prepared or self-made white sour cabbage, 200 gr speck (if it is made at home then you need vinegar or white wine, sugar, carraway seeds, salt and pepper to taste and oil for cooking) pepper, salt, carraway (grounded), 1 teaspoon curry, chicken stock 

Cut the pork into big pieces about the length of your thumb. Heat the oil in a large casserole. Chop the onions fine. Fry the pork first then the onions until fragrant.   Flavour with carraway and curry. Pour over a bit of water then add chicken stock, give it a stir. Cover, then braise on the hot plate about half an hour. Take the lid off and carry on the cooking, uncovered. The meat should be completely tender, turning golden brown.

Kukolya joco 2012 december 098Heat a bit of butter in an other pan, soaté the cut into pieces speck. Add speck to prepared sour cabbage. Then add cabbage and speck to the stew, turn up the heat and cook everything together for 5-10 minutes. Cook flat bread (buy fladen, pita or chapati bread from some local food store) on the skillet then put directly on a high flame, which makes it blow up like a balloon. Place flat bread into the crock pot, spoon over stew and enjoy!

My Chinese cabbage salad

The other cabbage recipe is my own invention. All right it’s not completely true because my muse was my Japanese sister-in-law, Shizuka. She visited me in this summer and one evening she did the cooking. Among other delicious courses she made a special Japanese cabbage salad (from Chinese cabbage). Later when I tried it I changed a bit on the recipe and the sesame oil with the Ajipon sauce did the trick and gave a real authentic Japanese flavor to the dish.

The recipe

Ingredients: 4 cups shredded Chinese cabbage, 3 tbs soy sauce, fresh, grated ginger, 2-3 cloves of garlic, 2 tbsp honey, Ajipon citrus flavoured soy sauce or sushi vinaigar, 100 gr sesame seeds, ramen seasoning packet (optional)

In a small skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat until golden brown and fragrant.

In a small bowl, mix together sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, pepper and ramen seasoning packet. Add grated ginger and garlic. Prepare the cabbage. Add at least three spoons of Ajipon (lemon flavored soy sauce). Toss cabbage with dressing to coat evenly. Top it with toasted sesame seeds.

It makes an excellent side dish to pork or fishes.

Good to know about cabbage

Cabbage has always been a food staple in Germany. Pickled cabbage was frequently seen already in the 16th-17th century. Saurkraut was used first by Dutch sailors to prevent scurvy during long ship voyages.

Nowadays in Germany cabbage is used in many ways, ranging from eating raw and simple steaming to pickling, stewing, sauteing or braising. Pickling is one of the most popular ways of preserving cabbage, creating dishes such as saurkraut. Savoy cabbages are usually used in salads, and it pairs well with red wine, apples, spices, horseradish and meat. But it can be used for roulades, in stews and soups, as well as roasted plain and drizzled with olive oil while smooth-leaf types are utilized for both fresh market sales and processing. 


Christmas pickle

Posted on

The Christmas pickle is a tradition related to the Christmas tree. A decoration in the shape of a cucumber is hidden on a Christmas tree as one of the decoration. According to some 19th century’s custom on Christmas morning, the first child to find the pickle on the tree would get an extra gift from Santa Claus or would have a year of good fortune for the following year. There are a number of different origin stories attributed to the tradition, but it was primarily thought to have originated in Germany. This has since been disproved and is now thought to be an American tradition from the late 19th century.  It’s true that the tradition is widely unknown in Germany however the tradition is commonly believed by Americans to come from Germany: as the Weihnachtsgurk, but it’s also possible that is probably apocryphal.

It has been suggested that the origin of the Christmas pickle may have been developed for marketing purposes in the 1890s to coincide with the importation of glass Christmas tree decorations from Germany. Woolworths were the first company to import these types of decorations into the United States in 1890 from the famous Lauscha factory (founded in the 16th century) glass blown decorative vegetables were imported from France from 1892 onwards. Despite the evidence showing that the tradition did not originate in Germany, the concept of Christmas pickles has since been imported from the United States and they are now on sale in the country is traditionally associated with it.

Berrien Springs, Michigan is known as the Christmas pickle capitol of the world, and holds a yearly pickle festival in early December. A pickle parade has been held since 1992. The village is in the area of Michigan known for cucumber production.

My advent calendar and some Christmas magic

Posted on Updated on

Since I’ve been living in Münich for more than five years it’s not possible not noticing that Advent is knocking on the door. Children get the Advent calendar soon, and people tune themselves up onto the holiday’s mood with Christmas fairs, concerts and feasting.

When I’ve made some research about the origin of the Advent calendar I didn’t have to go far because it comes from German Lutherans who, at least as early as the beginning of the 19th century would count down the first 24 days of December physically. Often this meant simply drawing a chalk line on the door each day, beginning on December 1st. Some families had more elaborate means of marking the days, such as lighting a new candle (perhaps the genesis of today’s Advent wreath) or hanging a little religious picture on the wall each day.

Now see how does my Advent calendar look like in 2012

1 Dec: I make the wish list together with my children

2 Dec: I light the first candle on the Advent wreath.

3 Dec: We open our own Platzchen (flat cookies or biscuits) baker shop! We make macarons, vanilla kipferl, lebkuchen-gingerbread! The advantage is they stay fresh until Christmas!

4 Dec: Barbara twig’s day. Although Barbara is not a fashionable German name anymore, the custom of Barbara twig (zweig in German) is still popular in Germany, particularly in Catholic regions. To honour of the patron saint of miners, artillerymen and firemen a small cherry branch or sprig is cut off and placed in water on that day (St. Barbara’s Day). Sometimes a twig from some other flowering plant or tree may be used: apple, forsythia, plum, lilac. But it is the cherry tree that is most customary and authentic. If all goes well, on Christmas day the sprig will display blossoms. If it blooms precisely on December 25th, this is regarded as a particularly good sign for the future.

5 Dec: Mistletoe’s day. According to ancient Christmas tradition, a man and a woman who met under a mistletoe were obliged to kiss (the custom may be of Scandinavian origin) and this custom still goes on. Beside of that kissing stuff the forever green mistletoe is one of the most favorable Xmas decoration in Germany. 

6 Dec: St Nicolaus day. Everyone knows that he was originally a Greek Bishop of Myra in the 4th-century. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas (itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of “Saint Nikolaos”). From the 15th century his reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints.

7 Dec: Giftpapers painting, coloring etc.

8 Dec: Xmas cards writing day

9 Dec: On the second weekend of advent I give a pause for myself. I will probably go out with friends to a cafe and will discover some new delicious cake from the offer.

10 Dec: I’ll visit-meet friends 

11 Dec: I’ll make Christmas ornaments of straw, paper, pearl, nuts etc. and I’ll dress up the windows. This is a kind of obligatory Xmas program.

12 Dec: concert’s day. Evening there is a Christmas oratorium in closter Schaftlarn but during the day I will hit the town with my family in order to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in the Middle-Ages city. (Mittel Alt Stadt)

13 Dec: The day is dedicated to Saint Lucy. Its modern day celebration is generally associated with Sweden and Norway where girls dressed as angelic Christ children, handing out Christmas presents. The oldest daughter brings coffee and St. Lucia buns to her parents while wearing a candle-wreath and singing a Lucia song. Other daughters may help, dressed in the same kind of white robe and carrying a candle in one hand, but only the oldest daughter can wear the candle-wreath. The traditional bun, Lussekatt (“St. Lucia Bun”) is made with saffron.

In Hungary we call the day Luca-Lucy’s seat which is one of the most interesting of the Christmas Day festivities (In English speaking countries’ inherent evil’s day has also held on this day). The Luca seat’s preparation is launched on 13 December and one must make it from nine different twigs of trees. Then the seat is made up to 13 days so that each day is only one operation can be performed on it, hence the popular saying goes that “slowly made ​​like the Luca chair” .

14 Dec: Nature calls! Inspite the cold weather a walk will do a lot good to you while nature is the best sress reliever. Breath in and out.

15 Dec: Glüchwein, Schupfnudeln and sweet waffle’s time. Negus, rolled finger noodles and waffle’s cheer us up. Evening I will participate on “The most beautiful Christmas choirs”‘s concert in the castle Nymphenburg.

16 Dec: Storyteller day. I am invited to a flower shop where the topic will be the fairies by the Grimm brothers. Evening I will light the third candle on the advent wreath and read fairies to my daughters, or we will watch some nice children movie such as Happily ever after or Golden compass.

17 Dec: We’ll make the wish tree

18 Dec: I will make the shopping list, (be aware of it that Xmas Eve falls on Monday this year).

19 Dec: I’ll make the nice punch the German Fire bowl out of the steel (0,4 l Apple juice, 1 sugar-loaf, two teaspoons of cinnamon, Sangria or red wine and rum then put on fire!..Mmm)

20 Dec: Christmas party at workplace!

21 Dec: Sport day. The first snow usually falls down onto the end of December so it’s time for winter sports, sledging, snowboarding in the Alps are among our favorite pastime’s sports

22 Dec: Chamber music I will sing!

23 Dec: Travelling to Belgium

24 Dec: Xmas Eve. The big day will set in. In the morning I will decorate the Xmas tree then I will speed up…

I wish all of you a jolly, happy Xmas!

The German city of Dresden has a giant calendar built into a fairytale castle on its Christmas market, the Striezelmarkt. Similarly, the German town of Uslar uses the windows of its town hall as a giant advent calendar.

Christmas in Belgium

Posted on Updated on

Philippe and Brigitte De Naeyer are the owners of the Pottenbrug restaurant in Antwerp. During Christmas the restaurant will be closed for three days because the family would like to enjoy the yule tide season simply with their five children and grandchildren. Two in five lives abroad, so not surprisingly Brigitte and Philippe’s most joyous celebration of the year is Christmas. – ” I enjoy the Christmas season especially the hustle-bustle and that as everyone wants to make itselves useful.- says Brigitte. “One of my son decorates the Christmas tree, the other one does the garden, the girls help with the cooking, the grandchildren assist in the preparation of the menu board. By the way about the decoration we usually decide at the end of November: last year the gold was our fav this year we voted for the traditional red and green’s combination.

I like the best the Christmas morning. I wake up with a smile on my face. I jump out of my bed and run to the fireplace, throw pine branches into the fire so by the time my children arrive the air has already been filled with fine fragrance. After a liquid lunch we dress the table together. The dinner is our treatment, to exchange gifts for the great regret of my grandchildren comes only after the dessert.

This year’s menu will be: Foie gras in pastry, rolled in serrano ham, French fish soup with saffron, Mallard, with wild mushroom and goat cheese flavored potato souffle, date cake with cinnamon flavoured ice cream.

Recipes: Foie gras with serrano ham in filo pastry

Ingredients: for 4 servings, lollo bionda or rosso lettuce, eight layers dough (the best is the thin Turkish pastry called filo pastry) 1 egg, sesame seeds, 8 slices of Spanish serrano ham, 4 slices of duck liver, one bottle of red onion marmalade

for the dressing: sherry wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon mustard, 1 tablespoon oil, 2 tablespoons oil, pepper, salt, curry

Prepare the sauce: Mix the sherry and mustard with oil, add a pinch of sugar. Preheat oven to 180 degrees, lubricate the filo pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Place pastry in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange the washed salad on plates. Remove the dough from the oven, place onto plate the first layer, 1 slice of ham, 1 dose of ducks, and the onion chutney, place the second dough layer on it, add ham, liver, onion, and so on.  Sprinkle the top of the dough with the sherry sauce.

French fish soup with saffron 1 lobster, 1 leek, 1 carrot, 1 teaspoon red paprika powder, 1 celery stem, saffron, parsley, fish soup broth, chicken soup stock, 1 dl white wine

Simmer the lobster in butter. Throw the chopped onion, celery stem, 1 carrot, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the paprika powder as well. Pour the chicken bouillon over lobster and cook for 15-20 minutes. When the vegetables are tender strain broth and keep only the crab meat and the vegetables, discard the fishbones and the hard parts of the lobster. Put vegetables back in the pot and pour the wine over soup. Boil soup again, flavour with the saffron. Offer with a fresh baguette or toast.

Mallard with wild mushrooms and goat cheese potatoe souffle: 2 mallards, 1 bottle of red wine, 1 bottle of Trappist beer, 1 tablespoon sugar, 750 g wild mushrooms, oil, pepper, salt, 1 onion, 2 carrots, thyme, basil, rosemary, 1 clove of garlic, butter, 1 liter of water

First, prepare the duck soup. Chop the onion and grate 3 cloves of garlic, fry them together with the diced carrots in the oil. Add the boned mallard (keep the flesh for later) pour in the red wine and the water, add the spices (bay leaf, thyme, rosemary) and cook/simmer on low heat for 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper.

The goat cheese and potatoes soufflé: 200 g potatoes, 100 g goat cheese, 100 ml cream, 50 ml milk, 1 egg yolk, 1 egg white, nutmeg, salt and pepper

Prepare mashed potatoes (cook and mash) and then add butter, milk, and goat cheese. Add egg yolk whisk egg white until stiff. Add to purée. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with nutmeg. Place purée into soufflé tins and cook for 35-40 minutes in water bath (up to 180 degrees).

To finish the duck broth, filter soup and add a pinch of sugar and stir Trappist beer, plus add a bit of butter. Fry the duck breasts and thighs in its own grease or in butter on both sides for 5-6 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Place the duck breast slices in a deep bowl, add the in butter cooked wild mushroom (seasoned with pepper and salt and chopped parsley) and serve with in baking tin cooked goat cheese purée. Spanish red wine suits it the best.

Date cake Ingredients : 250 g dates, extra 8 pieces aside for garnish, 10 g flour, 200 g almonds, 140 g sugar, 1 package vanilla sugar, 4 egg whites, 250 gr of cinnamon-flavored ice cream

The cream filling: 1,5 dl cream, 1 tablespoon milk, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 pack vanilla sugar. The frosting: 4 slices of chocolate, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, 10 g butter, 3 tablespoons apricot jam

Add chopped-unpit dates into flour, mix with the ground almonds, vanilla sugar, and add the sugar as well. Grease the pan with butter, beat the egg whites until stiff, and add the flour with the dates to this mixture. Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 180 degrees for 45 minutes. Cut the cake in two when it is cool, and spread with apricot jam. Prepare the coating, melt bitter chocolate in a bowl, with 1 tablespoon hot water and butter over boiling water. Beat the cream. Coat the cake with the chocolate glazur, decorate it with halfed dates. Flavour vanilla ice cream with cinnamon. Serve cake with ice cream and cream on top. Catalan sparkling wine suits well.

A family style’s meal or a typical Italian Christmas treatments

Posted on Updated on

The Italian Celini family owns the restaurant Da Lidia in Maasmechelen, in Belgium. Last year one week before Christmas when I called to schedule an appointment with Signor Marco Celini, after talking about shopping I also expressed my interest in the menu and he responded that it would be a typical, savoury Italian dinner with lots of pasta, birds and of course alongside a selection of vibrant wines.

After our conversation I could hardly wait to see his restaurant not only because the menu aroused my interest, but also because he promised me to reveal some secret of their „backstage” (connection with the cooking). When I entered the Da Lidia’s I immediately felt in Italy. Divine Mediterranean fragrance was floating in the air, and instead the oil and orange tree a huge Christmas tree was standing in the center of the dining room. Silver garland ran over the fireplace, shiny silver candles made the tables more sophisticated. Savoury Italian snacks were already placed on the 5 storey plates, on the bottom level chocolates, then nuts, oranges, tangerines, and mini panettones, finally, fresh fruits, dried fruits winked at me. Wine bottles and some fragrant rosemary centerpieces transported me immediately to the Tuscan countryside. The background music song was some Americaruso Lucio Dalla vivo performance. -“Have you ever heard singing Lucio Dalla?- asked signor Marco Celini after the formal greetings. -No, I have not. Actually I was really surprised by that fact myself, since my Italian babysitter, Mimmi had a rich Italian record collection, but she was always made us to listen Benjamino Gigli’s song La Mamma. So I see I have a lack of musical erudition, at least in the field of Italian music.- and before finishing my sentence an army of children plunged into the room (Gianmarco, Francesca, Leonardo, Carlotta and Valentina) driving my attention away. First they invaded the buffet table, collected some parmesan cheese from the top of parmahams then scattered quickly fearing that Donna Elvira, (Marco’s wife) would catch them in the act. “Fearing of the devil” she arrived with an authentic Italian cake, the Noga Panettone in her hand. She placed it next to the dried fruits, and tangerine bowl.-These things we nibble between courses-she explaned and offered me a mini panettone slice with lemon cream on top then steered me toward the kitchen. On my way I admired again the tastefully dressed table with dominating silver, green and white colours, (but on each napkin a rosemary sprig and a piece of dried red paprika was slipped into, whereof people immediately associated to the Italian flag colors). – We have a lot to do!- exclaimed Elvira apologetic and as if she had wanted to demonstrate, a female voice called after Marco- Scusami tanto, signora, but my mother needs me- told us Marco and ran to the kitchen. We women followed him. In the kitchen Elvira’s oldest teenage daughter, Maddalena was already busy with helping her grandma. I got an apron too and Lidia started the demonstration of how to make the traditional stuffed quinea fowl. -We have the same menu for Christmas dinner every year (at least for 100 years) begun the 75-years old Lidia. -We Tuscans eat lots of beef and game. One of the most famous steak prep is bistecca alla Fiorentina, a T-bone that is grilled plain, sprinkled with salt and pepper, sliced at the table, and served with olive oil and a simple arugula salad. -And we serve with lemon wedges because the juice cuts the richness of the meat! -took over the lead Marco. – And we don’t celebrate Xmas with supper on the 24th but always on the 25th on the day of San Stephano! Then we prepare ravioli, but on New Year’s lentil dish is a must, because legend has it that the more a person eats, will be luckier. -continued Lidia. -But mamma what about the guinea fowl!-interrupted her Marco again and then she went back to the point and made a marvellous demonstration…

Italian Christmas menu at Da Lidia’s

Stuffed olives with parmesan, Italian meat plate, (Parmaham, San Daniele salami, Chicken broth, Stracciatella (pigeons), Vincis grazie lasagna, Maccheroni alla Chitara con Piccione frappe (noodle wreaths), Zeppole (Italian donuts) in Ciccerchiara (sweets), Quail in grape sauce, Guinea fowl filled with black puding sausage and rosemary, sage, garlic

Starters: (in Italy pasta is usually served as a first course in smaller portions in order to leave room for the main course)

Olives all’ascolana (stuffed olives) Ingredients: 3 slices of bread, 100ml of broth, 100g speck, 2 tablespoons oil, 100gr ground beef, 100g chicken liver, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 50g chicken, 50g parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, salt, pepper, 50g green olives, 2 tablespoons flour, 3 eggs, breadcrumbs, oil for frying.

Soak the bread slices in the broth. Bake the speck in the oil, add the two types of minced meat, and the chicken liver. Season with tomato sauce. Pour some water and steam everything together about 5 minutes. Then place it into a mixer, add 1 egg and the grated parmesan, season with cinnamon, salt, pepper and nutmeg. If you take olives with core, unpit them and fill it with the pureed meat mixture. Rotate the stuffed olives in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and fry them in hot oil. Wine suggestion: Franciacorta Brut Wine Annamaria Clementi from 1994 ..

Stracciatella Soup with eggs Ingredients: 1 chicken, 1 celery, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 4 eggs, cheese, salt and pepper

Cook the chicken broth as usual. Strain and let it simmer again, beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Add the parmesan to egg and poach in the boiling soup.

Maccheroni con Piccione Ingredients: 400 g spaghetti, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 quail thigh for each persons one, 3 ripe tomatoes, 40 g pecorino cheese, salt and pepper

Bake the quail in oil. Cut of the tomatoes into quarters and add to quail. Cook on low heat for 2 hours. Cook the pasta, distribute and place the dish on the side of the quail thighs. Sprinkle with plenty of pecorino cheese. Boris Maurizio Zanella 1996, Rosso dei Sebino

Vincis Grazia Lasagna Ingredients: 400 g noodles, butter, 40 gr, 75 gr parmesan cheese, 50 gr mozzarella

for the sauce: 3 tablespoons oil, 40 g butter, 1 small onion, 250 gr ground beef, ham or speck, half a liter of red wine, 3 tomatoes, nutmeg, salt and pepper

Make the lasagna on the usual way..

Farona ripiena (stuffed quail) Ingredients: 1 large beautiful guinea fowl, 2 ps black puddings, three branches of rosemary, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon juniper, 4 tbsp oil, 1 glass of white wine, salt and pepper

Clean thoroughly fowl, then dry with a kitchen paper towel. Peel off the skin of the black pudding, add 1 clove of garlic, and crushed juniper berries, and put into the mixer. Season with salt and pepper and fill the fowls with that. Rub the outside of the bird with oil (or butter), salt and pepper, flavour with rosemary and sage. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 45 minutes. 15 minutes before the cooking is finished, pour the white wine and add to the remaining two (grated) garlic to it and bake for another 10 minutes. When serving, garnish with lemon slices, tomatoes and lettuce. Verdicchio dei Castelli White Wine Tip of San Michele di Jesi 2000

The Italians rarely serve elaborate dessert. At the end of the meal, it’s common to serve a bottle of wine (vin santo- dessert wine) which has a musty, honey flavour, and cantuccini which guests drunk into the wine to soften before eating. But this Zeppole is a traditional Christmas donut.

Zeppole Italian donut Ingredients: half a kg of flour, 125 g butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, 300 ml milk, 40 g yeast, oil, corn oil and sugar

Add sugar to the milk, add butter and mixed everything well. Add the flour, stir in with the developed yeast. Mix them well and then make round donuts, (make a hole in the middle). Fry them in hot oil. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

A cosy autumn supper with friends

Posted on

The first crisp nights of fall call for cozy dinner parties with good friends. I ushered in the season with sumptuous harvest dinner for 10. Charred eggplant caviar, assorted bread with olive oils, walnut-rosemary bread and lots of garlic were just a few of the items on the menu that took a cue from rustic Italian cuisine. Influenced by both Italy, France and USA, the full flavors of the meal were heightened with an appropriate and delicious wine pairing for each course.

The menu on 9th of November 2012 was the next: Charred eggplant, Salad Lyonnaise, Braised pork with Chinese cabbage slaw (with citrus seasoned soy sauce, the recipe is from Loveless cafe Nashwille) and with croquettes, Pears cooked in Tokaji wine and whipped creme on top (after Carluccio)

My autumn coctail was the next: 1 and half cups vodka, 1 cup fresh lemon juice, half cup Galliano and half cup honey liqueur. Shake pour into glasses. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Horse d’oevres Charred eggplant caviar: 1/2 cups 3 small eggplants, 2 large garlic cloves, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley, salt and pepper

Prepare grill with medium hot coals or heat oven to 200 C-400 F. pierce eggplant in several places. Place on grill or in oven and cook until throughout. Remove pulp from eggplant and place in bowl of food processor with garlic. with machine running pour in oil and lemon juice. Purée until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, until an hour before serving. Place in serwing bowl, stir in parsley salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve with toasted bread for dipping.

With the eggplant I served a sparkling wine the Schramberg brut

Salad Lyonnaise: fresh frisee lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces, 2 strips bacon, 1 teaspoon chopped shallots, 1 slice French or Italian bread and a little butter to make buttered croutons, 1 Poached egg per person, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, Salt and pepper to taste

1 Cook two strips of bacon on medium heat until done, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let drain of excess fat on a paper towel. Once cool, chop.

2 Cut a slice of French or Italian bread into cubes. Toast on medium high heat in a small saucepan with a teaspoon of melted butter. Do not stir bread unless to turn to a different side once one side is toasted.

3 Poach egg your favorite way.  

4 Layer the frisée, bacon, shallots, and croutons on a salad plate. In a small jar, mix the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad. Top with the poached egg.

Braised pork with Chinese cabbage 2 tablespoons canola oil, 36 ounces boneless pork chops, trimmed of any fat, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1 sprig fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions:1 Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat. 2 Brown pork chops on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. 3 Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together mustard, vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic salt with 1/3 cup water. 4 Pour over pork chops. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until tender, about 1 hour. 5 Transfer pork to a serving platter. 6 Raise heat to medium-high and cook sauce until thickened, about 5 minutes. 7 Pour sauce over pork chops; garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Offer Sauvignon blanc
Carluccio pears in Tokaji wine 1 cup Tokaji wine, 3⁄4 cups sugar, 2 strips orange peel, 2 strip lemon peel, 1 stick cinnamon, 4 firm ripe Bosc pears, Ice cream, or vanilla sauce, for serving
1. Combine wine, sugar, orange peel, lemon peel, cinnamon, and 2 cups water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
2. Cut 1⁄4″ from pear bottoms to make a flat surface. Peel pears and nestle them into bottom of pan containing wine mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until a knife slides into pears with ease, 50–60 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool. To serve, transfer pears, cut side down, to 4 plates and drizzle some of the sauce from the pan over pears. Serve with ice cream.