This is another of L.’s requests. And since it’s something I’ve never talked about before, I accept the challenge. [I mean, yes, I've talked about food, but recipes? Nuh-uh.]
Before I go into this, let me state a few facts: I’m probably the most qualified person to talk about this, like ever, since I’m not much of a cook. [In my family, I'm responsible for baking.] I want things to go easy, fast and still be tasty. And that’s what my recipes will be like. So don’t expect any gourmet “keep in the freezer for ten minutes, then boil, then turn upside down and throw it against the wall” stuff.
I’m disqualifying any convenience products. I mean “put in the microwave and heat for 2 minutes” is not much of a recipe. But what I do allow is variations of convenience products (like take this ready made sauce and do that with it).
Well, then let’s get to it. ;)
10. Tuna Salad
Oil, vinegar, salt, spices
any other vegetabel you like (that can be eaten raw)
Take lettuce and onions, tomatoes and peppers and make a normal salad, dress with vinegar, oil, salt and spices. Dump tuna and corn on top, mix it all together. Ready!
Pro tip: use rather tuna in brine than tuna in oil.
9. Onion Soup
Soup cubes, salt
Cut onions into rings (can be rather big). Take a pot, heat oil in it, throw onions in and roast until they’re slightly brown. Add water (enough to make it soup). When the water boils, throw in the soup cubes (read packaging on how many cubes per litre), add a little salt. Boil for a couple of minutes until cube’s really dissolved. Ready!
Pro tip: take toasted toast and put cheese on it. Put it into the plate before pouring in the soup. The hot soup will melt the cheese and the toast with the soup is extra delicious.
Chicken (whole, without heads or innards)
[I've included this because, although it takes a rather long time, it basically cooks itself.]
Heat the oven to 180°C . Take the chicken, make sure the innards aren’t stuffed inside in a plastic bag, then salt it inside and outside. Take a casserole, oil it, put the chicken in. Pour a cup of water over the chicken into the casserole and then put it in the oven. Check from time to time if there’s still enough water, if not, add more (there should always be water in the casserole for that will be a really yummy sauce and it prevents the chicken from getting too dry). Bake for 90 minutes. After half of the time, turn the chicken around. Ready!
Pro tip: if you have a grill function on your oven, grill the chicken for a couple of minutes at the end – this will give it a crispy skin. And while you’re waiting for the chicken to be ready, you can make whatever you want to eat with it. Traditional at my place are rice and peas.
7. Tomatoes with Cheese
Cut tomatoes into little discs (about 1 cm thick). Put a little salt and cheese on top. Heat oil in a pan and roast tomatoes until cheese has melted. Ready!
Pro tip: The ideal addition to a big breakfast. Especially tasty with fresh basilicum.
6. Asian Noodle Soup
A package of ready-to-go Asian noodles (the really cheap ones, where you only add water)
Cut vegetables (I especially like Chinese cabbage and peppers, but choose after your own taste) into bite-sized pieces. Cook in loads of water. When they are done, throw in the noodles and the spices from the pack, and stir until the noodles are done. Ready!
Pro tip: Add hardest vegetables first for they need the longest to cook.
Flour (250 g)
Milk (500 ml)
Palatschinken are a traditional Austrian dish, something between pancakes and crepes.
Mix flour, milk, eggs and a little bit of salt together to form a rather liquid dough. Heat a piece of butter in a pan. When the butter is hot enough, pour in a spoonfull or two of the dough (the Palatschinken should be about half a centimeter thick). When the dough is sufficiently cohesive, flip the Palatschinke. When it’s slightly brown on both sides, it’s done.
Traditionally, Palatschinken are filled with apricot jam. But the dough itself is not sweet and it works with anything else you want to put in. Personally, I like a tomato and cheese filling. Just put whatever you want in it, on the Palatschinke, then roll it so it looks like a big cigar. When you use a sweet filling, you can put a little powdered sugar on top. Ready!
4. Spinach, Fried Eggs and Potatoes
Cream Spinach (frozen)
This is the traditional dish Austrians eat on the Thursday before Easter, in German called “Green Thursday”.
Boil the potatoes in salt water, then peel them. Prepare the cream spinach (I don’t know if that’s something that’s eaten outside of Austria, but it’s spinach passed through a blender and mixed with a little bit of cream) according to the instruction on the package (usually you put it in a pot with a little bit of water). Fry some eggs (pan, oil, salt). Ready!
3. Pasta “Frutti di Mare”
Boil salt water and throw in the pasta. When pasta’s done, pour into a sieve and add a little bit of oil, so they don’t stick together. Put the crushed tomatoes into a pot and mix in the frozen seafood. Add salt and spices (personally I like oregano and a little bit of chili). Boil the tomatoes and the seafood until the seafood’s done. Ready!
Tomatengatsch (meaning tomato mud) is something I never encountered outside of my family’s kitchen, but it’s basically inspired by Italian stuff.
Chop onions and tomatoes into small pieces (if you want eggplant and zucchini, chop them too). Put some oil in a pan, heat it. Put the onions in and roast for a bit, then add the tomatoes and any other vegetables you want to use. Press a garlic clove into the whole thing, add salt any other spices you want to use (personally, I can recommend basil). Boil for a little bit (until the vegetables are done), then pull off the stove. If you want Feta, now’s the time to add it – just break off pieces. Ready!
Pro tip: If you’re like me, you’ll need some carbohydrates to really feel full. I recommend bread, but it also goes really well with rice.
1. Vegetable Soup
Any other vegetable you like
Cut the vegetables into bit sized pieces. Fill a big pot half full with water. Add salt. Boil it. Add the soup cubes (if you want them, they are not actually necessary), the onions, the potatoes (and one or two whole cloves of garlic). Boil for a bit before adding the carrots (and the celery, turnip, yellow beet). (When it’s almost done, add the peas, the broccoli and the cauliflower.)
The rule for adding vegetables: The harder it is, the longer it will need to boil, the sooner it should be added.
Serve with some grated cheese. Ready!
Pro tip: Make a huge pot. It will keep well for a good few days if kept cold and it reheats well. You can also easily freeze it.
Well, that’s it: Bon appetit.