Sharing a Labor of Love: Oma’s Rouladen

Some of my favorite memories of my Oma (that’s grandmother in German) are in the kitchen. She patiently (or sometimes not so patiently) taught me how to make several traditional German family favorites. I was her oldest grandchild born to her oldest son so I was chosen to carry on these traditions. I wasn’t so sure as a young girl but now I know I was the lucky one that got to spend many a weekend learning to prepare  potato salads, crumb cake, kohlrouladen, potato pancakes, and rouladen. There were no written recipes, she just knew how to do it by feel, and taught me the same way. I admit this was difficult, but it was when I was cooking with her that I really learned that cooking was more than following a recipe, it was about making something for someone, a gift to be enjoyed by family and friends, a way to show someone you love them.

I now have a love for cooking, it is a way for me to relax, a hobby that takes my mind off the ordinary and mundane. It is a way for me to give back to the people I care about. I don’t always include my children in the actual process of cooking, it is my time, but when ever I make one of my Oma’s recipes I get nostalgic and without even thinking invite my son into the kitchen with me. It is like there is something more than food with these recipes, it is a bond that must be passed on. This week when Rouladen was on the menu he joined me at my side and I realized that even though we don’t have this dish that often he already knew exactly how to make it. We didn’t even get out measuring cups, but he just looked at the ingredients we had prepared and said we are going to need more pickles and  he went straight to work chopping up some more. I smiled and knew my job was done, he is now the chosen one, I hope someday he thinks he’s lucky.

Oma’s Beef Rouladen

1 1/2 lbs of thinly sliced bottom round steak

1/4 c dijon mustard

approx 6 strips of raw bacon cut in half

1 c chopped dill pickles (use the refrigerated kind)

1 c chopped red onion

2 T butter

2 T flour

2 1/2 c  stock or water

1/4 t pepper

Place the steaks between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until thin but not falling apart. Spread a thin layer of mustard on the steak, place 1/2 a strip of bacon on each piece of meat. Add about 1 1/2 t of chopped pickles, and 1 1/2 t chopped onion to the top of each steak. Roll meat into a bundle and secure with a small wooden skewer or a couple of toothpicks,making sure the onions and pickles will not come out.

Preheat an electric frying pan and melt the butter over med high heat. Add the rouladen and brown on both sides.

Add 1 cup chicken or beef stock or water, reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour. Remove the rouladen from pan.

Add 1 1/2 c water or stock mixed with 2 T flour to the pan, bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cook until gravy is slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.

Serve with boiled potatoes and cabbage or collard greens if you are a southerner like me.

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Barbecued Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

 

I am not intimidated but much in the kitchen but for some reason ribs have always been well, scary. However, they are my oldest child’s favorite food and biggest request as well as a family favorite. So it was time to put on my big girl apron and figure this out. I have to say they were delicious and pretty easy, just takes some preplanning. I will be making them again and was very pleased with the flavor of the marinade and barbecue sauce. I desperately wish(hint, hint) that I had a smoker but until then these  slow roasted and then grilled ribs will be perfect.

4 lbs Pork Loin Baby Back Ribs

Orange Jalapeno Marinade

2 garlic cloves chopped

1 tsp orange zest

1/4 cup orange juice

1-2 jalapenos minced

1/2 t dijon mustard

1/4 c ponzu (citrus infused soy sauce) or soy sauce

1/4 c lemon lime soda (sprite, 7up etc…)

Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Remove silver skin from ribs if necessary and score the ribs with a sharp knife through the fat between each bone to allow the marinade to penetrate.

Place ribs into a large ziploc bag and pour in marinade. Place in refrigerator over night turning the bag occasionally.

Preheat oven to 200, remove ribs from bag and place in a large pan, cover with foil and cook 3-4 hrs, turning once.

 

Orange Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce

2 c ketchup

3 oz jalapeno jelly

juice of 1 orange

1 tsp orange zest

1T worcestershire sauce

1T dijon mustard

1 T apple cider vinegar

1/2 t garlic powder

1/4 t black pepper

1/2 t salt

add all ingredients to a small sauce pan stir and bring to a simmer over med heat. Make sure jelly is melted and turn to low until ready to use.

Remove ribs from over, baste with sauce and place on a preheated grill (med-high) for about 7-10 min per side or until sauce caramelizes. If you don’t have a grill, place under the broiler in the oven.

 

 

Smoked Turkey and Split Pea Soup

 

Despite it’s unfortunate color, split pea soup is a family favorite. I like to change it up a little sometimes, this time with the addition of fresh corn and a smoked turkey leg instead of a ham hock or bacon. Everyone loved it, this one is a keeper. The turkey leg had more flavor and meat than the tradition ham hock, and it was actually less expensive.

Smoked Turkey and Split Pea Soup

1 smoked turkey drumstick  found by the ham hocks and ham steaks at my meat counter)

1 cup of sliced carrots

1 cup chopped onion

1 c chopped celery

1 c fresh corn removed from the cob (about 1 ear)

1 lb dried split green peas, washed and picked through for debris

2 garlic cloves

32 0z chicken broth

1/4 chipotle chili powder or smoked paprika

1 -1 1/2 c water

Prep all ingredients.

 

add all ingredients except water to a large crock pot

 

Cover and cook for about 3 hrs on high or 5 hours on low. Peas should lose their texture and soup should be thick. Remove turkey leg and pick meat off bones and add back to the soup. Check soup for any bones that may have come off the leg during cooking and remove. Add water if needed to reach desired consistancy. Stir and heat through.

Spicy Green Curry with Turkey and Eggplant

 

Try this new twist with ground meat, Turkey , Beef, Chicken or Pork would work. A great alternative to the ho-hum Hamburger Helper, this dish tastes fresh, light and a little spicy. Adjust the heat to your liking by the amount of jalapeno you use.If your not an eggplant fan try zucchini or butternut squash instead.

Spicy Green Curry with Turkey and Eggplant

2 T Olive Oil

1.5 lbs ground meat (Turkey, Chicken,Beef or Pork)

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/2 pound fresh green beans washed and trimmed

3 cups cubed eggplant, ( skin off or on)

1 jalapeno minced (adjust to your spice preference)

2 T minced ginger

1T minced garlic

1-2 T green curry paste (found in Asian section of supermarket)

1 can coconut milk

1t lime zest

1T lime juice

1 T chopped mint

1 T chopped cilantro

Brown ground meat in a large pan over high heat, add 1 T of olive oil if using turkey or chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper while browning. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Turn heat down to medium and add 1 T oil to the pan, add eggplant, green beans, jalapeno, ginger and garlic, sauté for about 5 minutes. Move vegetables to the sides of the pan and add green curry paste to the middle. cook for about 2 more minutes. Add can of coconut milk, and lime juice and zest and stir.

 

Add ground meat back in and stir. Simmer with cover on for about 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and eggplant and beans are tender. Add fresh herbs (Mint and Cilantro) and stir. Serve with lime wedges and more fresh herbs if desired.

*If using zucchini, cook time will be shorter, if using butternut squash cook time will be longer.

 

Chicken with Creamy Corn and Basil Sauce

My kids love goopy, buttery, Alfredo sauces. They are fine every once in a while, but pretty fattening and lack any sort of vegetable or seasonal ingredient. I put this dish together using fresh summer corn and basil from the garden. It is  a lighter summer version of a white sauce with a hint of sweetness and no butter or cream.

2 ears of corn, kernels removed with a knife (or about 3 cups corn frozen of canned)

1/2 one lemon juiced

1/2 c milk

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

2 oz cream cheese

1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese

1 t minced garlic

1.5 lbs chicken breast ( I cut mine in to bite sized pieces but you could use whole breasts)

1T oil

4 T chopped basil

Remove kernels from cob if using fresh corn.

add kernels, lemon juice, and milk to a food processor, pulse until finely chopped. Add milk salt pepper and cheeses, pulse until mixture is well combined.

Set aside and heat a large skillet over med high heat. Add oil. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. add to pan. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Add corn and cheese mixture to pan, simmer for about 5 min over low

Stir in fresh basil and serve.

Serve over, Rice, Noodles or Pasta. Sprinkle with grated parmesan if desired.

Chipotle and Lime Glazed Meatloaf

Well I have learned something, not all food looks as good as it tastes. Meatloaf is one of them. Dinner time at my house is as hectic as everyone else’s. I have a husband a two teen boys, they are always starving and waiting like vultures for dinner.  I try to take pictures before, during, and after I am cooking, I wasn’t happy with this finished one of the meatloaf so I thought I will get another picture of it sliced on a plate after dinner, well I guess this meatloaf was good because there was none left when I went to get the second picture. Hope your family enjoys this as much as my boys did.

Chipotle and Lime Glazed Meatloaf

1 small yellow onion chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

1 1/2 – 2 lbs meatloaf mix (ground beef and pork mix sold at most grocery stores, or 1 lb ground beef and 1/2 pound ground pork)

2 chipotle chilis (canned in Adobe sauce) chopped

1 egg

1T ketchup

1/2 -3/4 c breadcrumbs

1T salt

ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, form a loaf and place in a casserole dish ( I prefer this to a loaf pan so that you can glaze the sides and the top)

Chipotle Lime Glaze:

3 T ketchup

2T adobe sauce (from the can of chipotles)

1T lime juice

Mix together, spread evenly over sides and top of meat loaf

Bake for approximately 45 minutes, slice and serve

Shared on Justa’s Kitchen’s Fantastic Food Fridays 5/2/2012