German Pork Casserole or That Other Stroganoff

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Lacking a garnish I know…

My husband has never had the Oh So Delicious Pork Casserole thingy that I was introduced to when I was a 16 year old exchange student in Germany. Until now…

His description really hit it right on the nail. “It tastes like Stroganoff!” But with some differences. Like pork. And Spaetzle

My host mom made this dish for special occasions, like my host brother’s Confirmation celebration. The best thing about this dish, besides the noodles, everything else is thrown into a casserole dish and baked.  Not a lot to it.

The deal with the ingredients is this. There are several ingredients that, if your not in Germany or are not near any specialty stores, are hard to find. Schmand? Krauter FrischKase? Yeah, it’s not easy to translate either. Although FrischKase is basically a herb cream cheese. Schmand, well its like Sour Cream, but not.

recipe

Theres a few things I left out, Butter,Some italian herbs, Chives, boiled eggs…

My mom and I searched on the internet a long time and found a solution on how to get those ingredients without having to necessarily buy them. We found other ingredients and essentially made a similar substance.

If you can’t get Schmand and Krauter Frischkase try this: 18oz Cream Cheese (herbed preferably), 2 cups of cottage cheese (my mom blended this so it was smooth), combine these together until very smooth and fold in 1 cup heavy whipping cream. This will solve all Schmand Problems!

I didn’t follow my German Recipe to the T, I left a few things out, but still tastes just as good. This Feeds Four, if you count 1 porkchop per person. Or 2 for 2 per person.

Recipe Card

This is a very self explanatory, just do what the directions say.

Pork and proscuitto Mushrooms Schmand and Frishkase mixing together On top of onions cheese done

It’s a very hearty meal. Expect to be full!
ENJOY!

 

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Family Style (Not the fancy schmansy version)

This is not your regular old Chicken Cordon Bleu that is perfectly rolled, typically breaded…. This was a dish made by request from my in-laws. I have made this previously for them, although this time I called my brother (he makes it too, probably better than I).  I changed a few things with my original to meet “his” my brother’s recipe.

Since, this was family style, I really wasn’t concerned on perfecting a specific shape, you shouldn’t either. As long as it plates up and eats well, your all good. Being in a small town has its drawbacks,  Havarti Cheese and Prosciutto are difficult to find. I substitute it for something everyone can find, thinly sliced deli ham, and thin Swiss cheese. Don’t feel you have to have the exact products to make a delicious Cordon Bleu. Don’t be afraid to substitute.

Rave reviews from everyone who ate it.

Ingredients:

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Thinly Sliced Deli ham

Thinly sliced Swiss Cheese

1 Large Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

Salt/Pepper

Parsley

I didn’t have a mallet, YOU DONT NEED A MALLET!  Use the bottom of a heavy glass or a small frying pan to pound out the chicken pieces. Don’t worry not every piece will look pretty nor will the be without holes. If you have something you need to vent about, use the glass….it’s very therapeutic.

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Once you have all your chicken relatively thinned. Prep you ham and cheese, I took each slice of Swiss cheese and halved them. The ham I pulled into smaller pieces.

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Begin with taking the chicken and placing a piece of cheese and ham in the middle. Roll and fold meat in as best you can. Place in a casserole dish. As you add more to the dish the chicken shouldn’t unravel and will stay together. Pack together.

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I mixed the can of Cream of Mushroom Soup in a bowl with various spices. Added it to the top of the chicken, making sure to evenly spread it out over the entirety.

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Not much of a color change. Use tongs to pull the meat out, it will not fall apart if you were able to maintain a good roll, initially. Top with sauce from the casserole dish.

Voila! Dinner!

Hope you enjoyed this. I shall be returning to Germany next week. My posts will be increasing again. Fall/Autumn Baking is coming up. Let me know how this dish works for you. And check out my Facebook page for more personal one on one cooking tips/techniques.

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Apron Strings Cooking Tips and Advice

Have a Great Night!

What Happens when you freeze cream cheese?

Okay so I freeze my cream cheese. I buy a lot at one time, or when it’s on sale. I know I don’t always need the few extra packages either. So I put my stand up freezer to good use and freeze it.

It got me thinking. I know many people are wary of freezing any item that isn’t something they already see in the freezer sections of their grocery store.

This is from my own experience and no one elses.

Many times when I take my cream cheese out and allow it to thaw, I will notice the crumbly appearance of the cream cheese. It has lost its togetherness (just slightly). Don’t freak out! The reason it does this is because when it freezes its fat content changes,and the “fat” actually beads which is why it looks crumbly.

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See the package on the left does not have smooth texture even from the outside. The crumbly feel is oily to the touch.

There is a solution, it’s not bad, it just needs to be whipped into shape, literally. Sometimes an addition of heat will do the trick as well. I usually also add a bar that hasn’t been in the freezer to it and whip it. Then if the texture doesn’t feel right, warm it up ever so slightly. Whip it (Whip it good, Whip it real good..) . See where you are at. I have never not had it come together. If all else fails go to the store for more.

Where there is a will there is a way. And in cooking and baking there is always a way to “fix things.

 

 

How-To From Scratch Easy Alfredo Sauce

My daughters Plate

 

The Prettiest plate was my daughter’s. I know for all my followers that are vegan this is not your forte. Although I did find an alternative Vegan Friendly Alfredo Sauce Recipe http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2013/02/vegan-paleo-alfredo-sauce/  Not sure how it tastes. I would be interested in making it though, once I obtain a blender 🙂 .  I keep telling my husband that I need one…

Alright I do not measure my ingredients for this sauce because the less you use the less you get, the more you use the abundance of sauce you end up with. Got it?

Sauce

So What you need for the sauce pictured above, besides the fresh garlic cloves I did not have on hand. I think my husband threw them out  or my 2 year old hid them…Probably find them in her play kitchen in a few days.

This sauce uses heavy cream, although you can use milk if you cannot get heavy cream.

Where I live overseas our cream comes in these very teeny cartons. I say teeny because when you are trying to make something big you need many of them.

So: Butter, Cream, Parmesan, Pepper (I add mozzarella because my husband really loves cheese) But a Alfredo Sauce is intended to be a Parmesan based sauce.

Butter Melting butter adding cream Adding Parm adding mozzarella stir Thick Sauce Pasta Water Pasta water in the Sauce

The pictures from left to right are my steps, Which is simply:

The heat on the stove should never go over a medium. This is to be cooked on medium or lower temperatures to prevent curdling. Melt Butter, Add cream, stir together, sprinkle in Parmesan, it will thicken slightly, add mozzarella, it will get very thick like fondue.  Once you cook your pasta, use excess pasta water while its hot to thin the sauce out. Thin it to the thickness you prefer. Alfredo sauce is meant to coat the fettuccine noodle, not pool at the bottom of your plate. Keep that in mind.  Toss your pasta and vegetables in the sauce, then plate. Place chicken, shrimp, squid ring or what not on top.   You can Add Creole spices to spice up the sauce, Add directly to sauce.

Flavor: If you’re not sure what flavor your sauce has gotten. It should have a strong parmesan cheese flavor.

 

Adding Garlic. Minced garlic can be added with the butter. Cook slightly. Do not brown, the sauce is meant to be a light pale color.

 

If you have any questions please feel free to comment.  This made enough for 3 people.