Saturday, January 21, 2012

german gourmet visit and bento

Hi bento pals! This bento was inspired by a recent trip to (big surprise!) another specialty food shop in the area: German Gourmet, which stocks a diverse selection of foods from Germany (plus homemade sausage, breads and sweets) and some Scandinavian specialties, too: perfect for this chill winter month...

German preserves (and, not pictured but a prized find: tart-sweet Swedish lingonberry jam)...

an impressive selection of German wines and beers...

marzipan pigs (marzipigs?)

Mozart and Constanze, eternally linked in music history...and German chocolate! These "Kugeln" chocs are quite addictive with a yummy rum-marzipan filling:

House-made sausage, lovely selection of flavors...we enjoyed the smoked bratwurst: hearty flavor, perfect with sweet-tangy red cabbage.

A star purchase from this visit was Swedish herring in garlic sauce...awesome on whole grain bread with a wisp of dill!

Cute little guy, love his placid, somewhat dazed expression :) Too much beer, perhaps?

Recipes for a couple of German-inspired dishes I've made recently:

Salmon in Cream and Riesling Sauce

Serves 2

Two wild caught salmon fillets, about a half pound each
two leeks, cleaned and sliced--all of white, more tender part of green
two thin carrots, sliced on diagonal
one tablespoon butter
one cup heavy cream
one cup Riesling or white wine of your choice

Preheat oven to 375

Gently melt butter, then add leeks. Cook carefully, as they burn easily! Add carrots, continue cooking until mostly tender. Add cream, cook over gentle heat for a couple of minutes, then add wine. Cook for about three minutes.

Place salmon in casserole, salt and pepper lightly. Pour sauce over. Bake about 12 minutes, or until your degree of preferred doneness.

Red Cabbage with Tangerines, Wild Berry Jam

Chop half a head of red cabbage medium fine. Saute a small red onion until translucent, add salt to taste, then about two tablespoons of wild berry jam--I used Swedish Lingonberry preserves. Pour in a half cup of white wine (used Riesling, in keeping with German theme). Squeeze a tangerine, add juice to pan as well as some peel. Cover and cook until tender--enjoy!

In the bento: salmon with cream and leeks, potato salad (red skinned baby potatoes with mayo, diced gherkins, dill), red cabbage with berry preserves.

Have a great evening and happy cooking this weekend!


fryda said...

Hi, oh I think its very interesting to see what things you can buy in a german food shop^^ thanks for these pictures and greetings from germany^^

Brian said...

Ich bin eifersüchtig!

Bentobird said...

Hi fryda! So delightful to have you visit from Germany :) would love to know about some of your favorite winter dishes!

Bentobird said...

Hiya Brian! Huh, we are even then, as your Chinese dim sum/food court extravaganza had me drooling! Want that pistachio pesto recipe, bud!

Robin O. said...

Das ist eine wunderbare Mahlzeit!

You have been a busy, busy Ms. Jenn!

Loving your adventures into sausage, cabbage and potatoes and am dying to have a marzipig - so adorable. I like your take on the red cabbage with the preserves and tangarine. I can just taste it. Yum!

The salmon, delightfully creamy.

Wonderful posting. Hope you have a great rest of the weekend.

Kaimono888 said...

Hi Jenn
Love the bright bento set as well as the goodies from Germany ~~ especially the chocs o(^.^)o

Have a good weekend!
Cheers :)

fryda said...

some of my favourite winter dishes, hmm let me think... I am a vegetarian, so I can only tell you general dishes^^ at christmas time for example there are potato salad with 'würstchen' very popular, or roast meat with potatoes and cabbage.
And a popular winter dish is for example cabbage in different ways, cabbage stew, kale with wiener and so on. Stew is also popular (potato stew,...).

Bentobird said...

Hi Ms. Robin! Aw, thanks for your sweet comments and for coming along for this foray into winter-weather tastes :)

Loved your red cabbage and fennel recipe in recent post, btw!

Bentobird said...

Hi Kaimono888, yay, glad you liked this post...I know we share a sweet tooth for quality chocs! ^^

Bentobird said...

Hi fryda!

Thanks for sharing this German winter food info! There is such a nice affinity between cabbage, onions, potatoes...meat complements this trio, but I'm sure as a vegetarian you enjoy warming and delicious meals just featuring these earthy veggies :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, a german Blog, i think, that's my commitment ;D Heyho Bentobird, greetings from germany again. Sorry, i was unfaithful *shame* but I've missed you and your great bento - and photos!

Your Lorian

Bentobird said...

Hi Lorian dear! Glad you came by for this post, I'm really enjoying Northern flavors now that snow is covering the ground and everything looks like a Breugel painting around here...hugs!

karaimame said...

Hi Jenn! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Ours was pretty much... snowy all the time ;)
So lovely trip you´ve taken us to the world of German flavors (+ some Scandi ones)! Happy to see Abba exports their stuff all around the world :D.
Oh... and your salmon... it reminds me so much "uunilohi" (oven baked salmon)... creamy, onionish good! ^_^
Have a great week there!

Bentobird said...

Hi there karianmame!! Lovely comments and visit, thank you! I do love Scandi cool that this salmon improvisation chimes with a Finnish dish you know! Cold rain here today over a thin ground of snow...perfect day for making soup later! Have a great week!

Journal Mommy Yenny said...

I enjoy so much seeing your beautiful pictures Jenn :)

Bentobird said...

Hi Yenny!! HAPPY NEW YEAR and thanks so much for your kind encouragement. May it be a beautiful and joyful year ahead for you and family :)

sheri fujihara chen said...

Your salmon looks ever so creamily delicious! And what a wonderful little place to visit. You had me at marzipan.

Susan Yuen said...

I love how you incorporate different foods into your bentos! Absolutely beautiful!

Bentobird said...

Hi Sheri! With cream and wine...yums! This was a fun little shop indeed. So happy you came along for the visit :)

Bentobird said...

Hi Susan, Happy New Year!! Thanks SO much for your bento friendship, what a sunny blast it is to read your sweet comments :)

Lyndsey said...

What a nice job including recipes for your German inspired bento. We have a wonderful German shop in Sarasota too. They make all their sausages fresh and cooked and many smoked meats, desserts and much more. They also have herring of all kinds (my dad loves it). Not as much beer selection though. I like how you embrace it all and show us pics. I get ovwerwhelmed and end up not buying anything except some English bangers. What did you buy?

Bentolily said...

Typical/traditional German winter dishes are pot roast and dumplings. In south Germany espacially the crusted pork-roast is a every days favourit. The veggies part consisted of root veggies and cabbage in former times. In north Germany kale dishes are popular. And stews are a great winter dish to warm one up. On some occasions (St. Martin, Erntedank/Thanksgiving on same day as Kirchweih/country fair) a big fat roast goose or duck is very traditional. And every dishes Fryda already told you.
By the way - red cabbage is loaded with spices here as bay leave and allspice/pimento or cloves and cinnamon and seasoned to a sweet-sour taste.

Bentobird said...

Hi dear Lynds! I remember some very appealing pics you posted of this German shop a while ago! At our shop, we came home with...several types of sausage, delicious Swedish herring in garlic cream sauce, Swedish lingonberry preserves, gherkins...remoulade and cod mayo in tubes (fun!) were our major purchases! How I did not clear the shop of choc covered maripan...I know not! Hugs!!

Bentobird said...

Mmmmmm, Bentolily, all these dishes sound richly flavorful and delish--thanks so much for coming by and sahring your great German cooking info!