16 January 2012

Bread and potatoes - simple food

These are delicious! Kartoffelpuffer - or potato pancakes, are one of those dishes that can be part of a meal of a meal in themselves. Hanno's mother taught me to cook kartoffelpuffer and I remember as clear as a bell when she told me that when they were cooked, they had to look like lace. A few weeks ago Hanno made dinner and produced not plain kartoffelpuffer but kartoffelpuffer topped with cheese, tomato and ham. Up until that point we'd only ever eaten them plain but since he went back to Hamburg to visit his family just over a year ago, he has been researching home cooking, German style. This is one of the recipes he found.

  • 1kg/2.2lb potatoes - peeled and grated
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of flour - I use self-raising flour, Hanno uses plain. I think the self rising flour makes them a bit lighter.
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tablespoon mild mustard
  • Chopped tomato
  • Chopped ham
  • Grated cheese
  1. When the potatoes are grated and onions are chopped, place them in a clean tea towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  2. Mix the above together thoroughly. Heat oil in a pan, when it is hot, add as many half cup measures of the mixture as will fit in the pan without them touching - usually 3 - 4 . Cook until the first side is golden, flip over and do the same on the other side. Place cooked puffers on a plate with paper towel on it to drain. Keep them warm while you cook the rest.
  3. When you have all the kartoffelpuffers cooked, add the topping and grill the top until the cheese has melted. 
Eat them straight away. The leftovers can be reheated in the microwave the next day.

I had some cheese leftover from Christmas that I wanted to use - a really good farmhouse cheddar from Maleny so  I decided to make up some cheese rolls. I used a normal white dough and added a splash of olive oil to make the dough more tender and easier to handle. I rolled it out flat and sprinkled the cheese over it with a bit of paprika - in a way similar to that old favourite, cinnamon rolls.

Using a sharp knife, cut them into pieces about two inches thick. A quick 20 minutes in the oven and they were ready for lunch on Saturday. We still had rolls left on Sunday so I shared some with the chickens and toasted one in the sandwich press with tomato. Delicious! This type of roll would be great with ham or pepperoni added to the cheese if you wanted a roll that was a bit more substantial. I think they'd be an excellent addition to the lunch box because they're quite flat so they're easier to pack and eat than a round roll.

Once you find the key to good bread, it's so easy to make all sorts of bread. Just change the flour and you have whole grain, wholemeal, rye, corn and barley or spelt bread. Bread is a great healthy addition to daily nutrition. For the cost of a cheap supermarket loaf you can home bake an excellent good quality loaf or rolls for all occasions.

I wonder how many of you are regular bread makers. I wonder how many would like to be. There are some very good bread threads over at the forum but if there is a need, I'll do a basic bread tutorial over there so you can ask questions along the way. Let me know.

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