Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Fress - to eat copious and without restraint.

Fress - to eat copious and without restraint.

What a great word! and a pretty cool name for a cookbook if you ask me.

Fress by Emma Spitzer, the cookbook with the very cool name arrived in my letter box a good few weeks ago and I've been meaning to write this up for a little while now. It's is a cookbook that's full of traditions and family recipes. I have always felt a pull to find out my family tree and where everyone came from but to be honest, I just want to know what they ate. I want to know what traditions were kept, if something was made on a weekly basis? or for Easter or every birthday? I want to know what they kept on cooking and eating even when life got...well life. I'm nosey. And well because, everyone has to eat no matter whats going on in their life or how shitty their day was. We still have to eat.


The recipes in this cookbook are from a Jewish kitchen and with Emma's family tree stretching off in which way and that, all over the world, it means that the recipes in this book also do. With it's Middle-Eastern and Eastern European flavours there is such a variety when it comes to the recipes, you couldn't pinpoint one place and I love it. Although each recipe has a place in her kitchen and she shares a little bit about each one. I love a recipe with background.

I found I kept flicking back to the challah recipe, spaetzle with oxtail stew and the moroccan stuffed sweet potato with braised fennel and tahini. But I couldn't turn away from the schupfnudeln with creamy mushroom sauce and both Tris and I haven't stopped talking about since we made it together last week. What are schupfnudeln you ask? well, they are hand made German potato noodles, kind of like gnocchi but better... fried in butter. By no means is this dinner going to win and 'whole-foods' award but it is one seriously delicious dinner, great for a chilly autumn evening. And yes you read it right before. This was joint cooking session. Turns out Tris is a natural and schupfnudeln roller. Who knew!?!



While my week had been long and hunger pains imminently stabbing, I looked at what seemed like a mound of schupfnudeln dough in front of me left to roll and sighed. He then came up behind me and so kindly says - move over. Not quite trusting him (I have control issues in the kitchen) I shuffled to the left and let him stand next to me ready to take back the schupfnudeln rolling after the first one or two attempts but out of no where he started pumping these little noodles out like he'd been doing it all his life. 'Efficiency' he says cooly when I asked how on earth did he know how to do that without even looking at the instructions in the cookbook. 'And you were too slow' he finishes with a smile. I moved right out of the way and let my natural schupfnudeln rolling fiancé do his thing. Maybe I need to get him to help me with the Emiko Davies' strazzopretti next time?

The creamy mushroom sauce was simple, rich and bowl licking good. A nice piece of crusty bread to wipe your bowl with after would have been perfect, mopping up all the juices. The sauce would be great on regular pasta or store bought gnocchi (fried of course), or even a baked potato in it's jacket. So if you don't have time, patience or a schupfnudeln rolling fiancé don't stress, you can still make the sauce and wow yourself and anyone at your dinner table with this. Also if you aren't kosher (because this is a Jewish cookbook) bacon or sliced veal would be great in the sauce - I thought it was delicious without it but if you have a meat loving partner then yes I agree with Tris, the addition of bacon or veal would work well and also keep the meat eaters happy.


Now I don't think my photo's do this justice at all because how on earth do you photograph brown/beige food without it looking... well.... plain and brown? But please trust me when I say, these photo's do not do it justice. Just make it and let me know how right I am.


schupfnudeln with creamy mushroom sauce

serves 4
recipe by Emma Spitzer from her cookbook Fress (ever-so slightly adapted)

for the schupfnudeln-
1kg flowery potatoes
1 egg yoke
table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
60g potato flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
25g butter

for the creamy mushroom sauce-
1 tablespoon olive oil
25g butter
1 small brown onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced (I used button)
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, very finely chopped, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish
100ml madeira wine (I used dry white)
250ml vegetable stock (made using 1 teaspoon bouillon powder)
300ml pure cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
a few twists of black pepper

Start by making the schupfnudeln. Cook the unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water for 20-25 minutes until very tender. Drain and leave to cool in a colander.

Peel then mash potatoes really well so there are no lumps; a potato ricer is great for this!

In a medium sized bowl add the cooled mash, egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of table salt, whit pepper and nutmeg and mix together. Gently add in the flours, taking care not to over-mix it at this stage.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a long sausage shape, about 2cm thick. Cut into 1cm-thick pieces and then roll each piece into a little pencil shaped noodle. Continue until all the dough is rolled.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil and add the noodles in batched. As soon as they float to the surface, after around a minute, remove them with a slotted spoon into a bowl of iced water. Continue until all noodles cooked.

For the sauce, heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Fry over a medium heat for around 10 minutes, stirring frequently until everything has softened. Add the thyme and cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn the heat up, add the wine and let the mixture bubble away for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms have started to turn golden around the edges.

Add the stock and cream and bring to a boil, turn the heat down and continue to cook the sauce over a medium to low heat until reduced and thickened. Season with salt and black pepper, cover and keep warm.

To fry the schupfnudeln, heat the oil in a large frying pan and add a small piece of butter. Fry the noodles in batched over a high heat for 2-3 minutes, shaking them around the pan until they turn golden brown on all sides. Remove each batch of noodles with a slotted spoon and add a dot more butter to the pan before adding the next lot of noodles to fry. Continue until all noodles are golden and fried.

To serve, divide the noodles between 4 shallow bowls, spoon over the mushroom sauce and garnish with remaining herbs. Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. schupfnudeln! I have never heard of it nor can I even pronounce it correctly but gosh I want it! It looks so delicious

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    Replies
    1. I'd never heard of them either and pretty sure I botch the pronunciation each time :) but I'm so glad I stumbled onto them because they are seriously delicious. Definitely not a superfood but will warm a belly on a cold night thats for sure!!

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