Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The case of the vanishing post.

It’s gone.  Gone, gone, gone.  My Yummy Monday post from last night was about to be published when - POOF! - my blog started acting funny.  Getting error codes, not being able to log in or see my dashboard.  I cursed myself for trusting the autosave, because of course, that didn’t work.  Usually I write my posts in a word processor and transfer it to my blog post - that way I have a version saved in “hard copy” (today’s version of hard copy, anyway) just in case.  But I’ve stopped the habit and woe is me!  So last night my post disappeared.  With no option of ever posting again.  I did what anyone would do.  I got really mad.  Then I cried and raved for a bit and went to bed.

Now that I’ve opened my blog in a different browser, everything seems to be fine.  Except for the fact that my post - with all of it’s insight, recipes, links and super witty remarks - is gone.  You’ll now have to settle for a shoddy reflection of what once was.  I know, it’s terribly sad.  Plus this post will be later than it should be.  But I’m always late.

So, last night, we deviated from the cookbook a bit.  I was reluctant, but mr had a hankering for German.  And when mr wants German I try to comply.  He did live in Germany for 2 years... I suppose he misses all the vinegar.

And so, I  made him a meal of vinegar.  Everything from last night had vinegar in it.  Ok, EXCEPT dessert.  Now that I think about it, I could have made Crazy Cake which has vinegar in it... but I digress.

The other day we were talking about gyros for some reason.  I have no idea why.  Now, I’m not one for lamb meat (not only because it’s impossible to find in this area) but I guess German gyros are made with turkey and pork as often as lamb.  Now, turkey I could do.  Turkey could have come from a tree, you know, like chicken breasts.

So I dug around on the internet and found an easy version of döner kebabs.  And then, because you can’t have döner kebabs without cucumber sauce and (apparently) red cabbage, I found those too.  For the red cabbage I turned to my bud, Rachel Ray (since apparently my braised red cabbage recipe - which I have posted before - was not “authentic” enough... mr told me the jar was closer to “real” German, and really, that’s just an insult, so I set out to top the jar with a new recipe.)

I didn’t want to throw the cookbook to the dogs completely today, so I used it for the pasta salad - thanks Anna! - and the dessert, which was Caramel Layer Chocolate Squares - thanks Trixie!

And on we go!

Now, döner kebabs are not kebabs in the form we think of.  I guess in Germany, gyros are the street food of choice.  The meat is skewered and roasted on a spit right there, hence KEBAB.  But since I don’t have a spit handy, I used a recipe for a more “homemade” version - which was baked.

Here is how to prepare the meat for your German gyro:

Döner Kebabs Meat
1 lb ground lamb or turkey
1/2 C onion
2 tsp fresh crushed garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp black pepper

Chop the onion coarsely.  Put the onion, garlic, salt, marjoram, rosemary and pepper in the blender and puree until there are no onion chunks left.  In a bowl, mix this puree with the meat.  Press the meat mixture firmly into the bottom of a greased baking pan and cook at 325 for 1 hour.  Once cooked, drain the fat and let the meat cool.  Cut it into thin strips.

You can’t have a German gyro without red cabbage.  What?  Yeah, I know.  You could just buy it in the jar, but it’s easy to make your own.  I altered Rachel’s recipe a bit.

Sauteed Red Cabbage
2 T (and possibly a bit more) olive oil
1 head of red cabbage
1/3 C white vinegar
2 T sugar
1 tsp mustard seed
salt and pepper to taste.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Shred or slice the cabbage and add it to the oil.  Turn and sautee until the cabbage is wilted, abut 5 minutes.  Add the vinegar and turn the cabbage in it.  Sprinkle the sugar on top, then turn the cabbage again.  Season with mustard seed, salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat.  Let cabbage cook for about 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

It was really good, and not as sweet as the braised red cabbage I made earlier, which I think mr appreciated.

Now, you should also know that a German gyro isn’t really a gyro, either.  It’s served on Turkish bread, not pita, and apparently this bread is a round sourdough, not as thin as pita bread.  Which is what I bought... but I focused more on shape and composition and not so much on the fact that it should be flat.  ANYWAY, basically a German gyro is just a spiced meat sandwich.  Here’s how you’ll assemble your sandwich:

THIN sour dough roll or bread
seedless cucumber, sliced thin
sauteed red cabbage
romaine lettuce of baby spinach
cherry tomatoes, cut in half
(optional) feta cheese

Take your bread, spread a little bit of cucumber sauce.  Lay a few strips of meat.  Layer seedless cucumber (sliced very thin), red cabbage, romaine lettuce or baby spinach, and tomatoes.  Spread more cucumber sauce over the top.  Add feta cheese if desired.  Top with the rest of the bread.  

What’s that?  You want to know how to make the yummiest cucumber sauce ever?  Well, ok, I’ll indulge you.  I used a recipe online for inspiration, but tweaked it for our tastes.  As a note, this cucumber sauce was the most raved over item on the table tonight, which is weird (what with dessert and all...)

Cucumber Sauce
1 C plus 2 T plain yogurt
1/2 seedless cucumber
1 tsp salt
1 clove crushed garlic
1 T olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Chop the cucumber finely and place it in a bowl.  Mix all other ingredients into the cucumber.  Cover and chill.  Serve cold.

It was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself.

The sandwiched were good - and I was glad to have used turkey, something I don’t cook with often.  But I LOVED the pasta salad.  It was very tasty and easy to throw together, so I can picture this as a summer picnic staple.  I did change it a bit, because my mom is allergic to raw onions.  Here you go:

Pasta Salad
1 lb uncooked rotini
1 head of broccoli
2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/4 C miracle whip
3 T vinegar
1/3 C sugar

Cook the pasta, drain, rinse and cool.  Chop the broccoli into small florets and put them in a bowl with the cheese.  Add the pasta.  Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl.  Pour this over the pasta mixture, and mix well.  Chill and serve.

This was the only part of dinner that bug MOWERED down.

Now, dessert.  I loved it.  It reminded me of this dessert, but without all the fuss.  And with nuts.  It was delicious - all ooey and gooey and chocolatey and caramely, and YUMMY.  Now, some people (ahem, mr...) might maintain that it’s too rich to truly enjoy.  To which I say, “pshaw!”  Of course, you can only have a very little bit or you’ll dive into a chocolate coma.  And you have to make sure you have milk on hand before you start eating, or you’ll dive into a chocolate coma.

You should also let it cool before cutting and eating.  We couldn’t wait.  That means it was super runny.  But oh, so warm and delicious. 

Now, after talking it up like this, wouldn’t it be funny if I left you hanging with the recipe?

No, I’m not that cruel.

Caramel Layer Chocolate Bars
1 package Kraft caramels
2/3 cup evaporated milk (divided)
1 package of german cake mix
1/2 C melted butter
1 C chopped walnuts
1 package of semi sweet chocolate chips

Combine the cake mix, butter, nuts and 1/3 C of evaporated milk in a bowl.  Mix well.  Grease and flour a 9x13 pan.  Press 1/2 of the dough into the pan, firmly.  Reserve the rest of the dough for the topping.  Bake at 350 for 6 minutes.  Mix the caramels with 1/3 of the evaporated milk and melt it in the microwave.  Remove the crust from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over it.  Spread the melted caramel over the top.  Crumble the rest of the dough over the top of that.  Bake this for 15-18 minutes more.  Cool.

Then eat it and bask in the gooey goodness.  My dad has requested this for his birthday dessert.

And, even though it doesn’t have vinegar in it, it totally still went with dinner - I mean, the cake mix was German, right?

Last night, at bedtime, bug’s favorite part of the day was “The food.”  Said with confidence and conviction.  Which more than makes up for the nasty pie.


*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to! 


Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things} said...

I just found you blog at the "sew much ado" linky party!

Döner or gyros really is the street food of choice over here!! I think we have about 3 McDonalds in the inner city limits of the city I live in, but an endless supply of Döner places! ;)

Greetings from Germany!
Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}

Ashley said...

The dessert looks amazing. Love that "food" was the fav of the day, what a sweetie! xo

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