Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Like to Call it Suelze

I don't know if I'm fooling anyone, but the German word Suelze just sounds so much better than headcheese!
Anyway, when we had the pigs butchered we got everything back including the head, heart, feet, fat, etc, etc, etc. so I decided to use it all!  (I was also donated extra parts from the other people that shared in our pig venture, because they don't have the stomach to deal with it)
I was at home today so I dug out some parts from the freezer and began cooking.  I looked through my vintage cookbooks and online to find recipes for headcheese, but found they varied so much in regard to spices and preparation methods, so I just headed out on my own (Oh! no pun intended)

If you are the queasy sort, you may not want to continue reading....

1) Boil  1/2 pig's head, feet, tongue and heart in the largest pot I could find in slightly salted water for about 3 hours
If it looks like an ear, it's because it is.

2) After boiling, remove head, feet, tongue and heart from water and place in a separate bowl.  I then put the bowl in the cold garage to cool down.

3) After cooling comes the time to pick through the items for the good meat and put it in the food processor and I chopped it rather coarsely.  I think most people would it a very gross experience, but I actually found it rather interesting (luckily I don't gross out easily).  Most of the meat is in the head and the heart and tongue just needed a little trimming.  The feet have virtually no meat, but rather bring the gelatin to the dish.

4) Place the meat into a smaller pot and ladled some of the first cooking liquid into the meat (about 4 cups - I'm not sure as I didn't measure).  To the mixture I added one chopped onion and approx 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.  I then added one of the pigs feet back in. 

5) Add spices - I used salt, pepper, a lot of sage and about 1/2 t of chili powder.  Boil until the onion is cooked.

The meat mixture being brought to a boil 


5)  Remove from heat and remove the pig foot then pour into a loaf pan.  Put in fridge to cool and set.

Mixture in the loaf pan

I unmolded from the pan and it was not a firm as I expected - more like a pate.

The Suelze turned out very good, but it is very rich so you can't eat a lot of it.  It is very tasty eaten with some crackers.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My morning

Look at what greeted me this morning...

At least 2 feet of snow (60 cm) and it is still snowing. Of course this has to arrive while Husband is out of town.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Company Jump - Tribute to the Andrews Sisters

Today is Rememberance Day and we had tickets to see Company Jump - Andrews Sisters Tribute which was being performed in our city.

Husband and I (and the kids too) are big fans of the music from the 1940s and we usually have it playing in the house via Sirius Satellite Radio's '40s on 4' channel.  I think there was only one song played at this evening's performance that I didn't recognize, otherwise I was able to sing along (silently of course!). 

Anyway, this was a wonderfully entertaining performance featuring music of the era and a lot of comedic banter.  If you are a fan of the Andrews Sisters or 40s music and ever have a chance to see Company Jump, I urge you to go!  It is well worth the cost of the ticket.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Soup recipe and Immersion Blender

Winter is fast approaching and we had snow over the weekend again.... but this time it stayed :(

With the colder weather I feel like making soup to take the chill away.  I rarely make soup in the warmer months, but it is soooo good at this time of year.

I tried a new recipe to use up the last of the red tomatoes from the garden.  This recipe is from the Nourishing Traditions The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon.  If you haven't seen this book/cookbook you really must as it is chock full of recipes and information on cultural diets, nutrition, and ingredients. It is super interesting!

Tomato-Dill Soup
Serves 6

2 medium onions, peels and coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
3 T butter
8 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cups of chicken stock
1/2 t dried green peppercorns, crushed sea salt or fish sauce
1/4 c snipped fresh dill
piima cream or creme fraiche

Saute onion and celery gently in butter until tender.  Add tomatoes and stock, bring to a boil and skim.  Add crushed peppercorns.  Simmer about 15 minutes.
Puree soup wint a handheld blender.  Thin soup with a little water if necessary, and season to taste.  Stir in the dill.  Simmer gently about 5 minutes, ladle into heated bowls and serve with cultured cream.

I didn't have an immersion blender as the one I had received from my mother-in-law (a 1980's vintage model) began smoking the last time I used and I promptly put it in the trash.  I didn't use it much anyway as it didn't have enough power to make it worth the effort.

After several months of debating whether I should purchase a new one, I finally broke down and came home with a Kitchen Aid model.  In the store I really looked over the various models which ranged from $10 to $80.  Of course the Kitchen Aid was the most expensive, but upon closer inspection I could see why.  The blade was twice as long as the other models (giving more cutting/blending surface), the motor power was adjustable, and in general it just seemed much sturdier.  I would rather spend the money on something that will work properly and will not have a planned obsolenscence.  So far I have been extremely happy with my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and I hope the blender will give me the same good results.

So far I have used it for blending the soup in the above recipe, smoothies, hummus, and chopping/blending kale and cream a dish for last night's dinner.  (If you like kale this dish is awesome... I will post it another time after I have translated it from German)