Trying to cook without Jola: Episode 1

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Jola has been suffering from a bad back. So for the past few weeks, she has been away at physical therapy rehab center.  It’s a wellness center about an hour away and we have really missed her.

Last week we invited Heinz over for dinner and I took the big step of trying to cook Frankisch food without Jola. Some dear friends gave us a Franconian cookbook as a wedding gift. This is a special book because it features recipes from nearby small restaurants, breweries and family owned pubs. While I thought it was a lovely gesture, I have been pretty much intimidated by the book until now.

A few days before Heinz came over for dinner, we looked through the book to pick out a recipe.  Now that I can read and understand the ingredient list, it’s a little less daunting. I need some help from Thorsten because I don’t fully understand all the instructions, but it’s do-able now. We picked something that sounded delicious and got underway.  I was in charge of the main meal and Thorsten the vegetables.

The recipe was Fleischküchla mit Schafskäsefüllung.  It is featured on the menu at a restaurant/pub in nearby Barnfels. Almost anytime there is a “la” on the end of a word or a dish it is Franconian and not really German and it often is an indicator of a diminuative version of something, For example: Becher is bucket or tub, but Beckerla is a small bucket or a small tub, for example a becherla of sour cream.  Fleischküchla  means something like little meat pocket. Schafskäse is basically Feta Cheese. And Füllung is filling. So there you have it.

Cooking Franconian food wasn’t as fun without Jola but luckily this meal was pretty simple and if you like Feta cheese, it really tasted great!

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

1 egg

1 small onion finely chopped

3 Tbsp bread crumbs

1 Tbsp fresh parsley

1 package of Feta cheese

a little oil for the pan

Nutmet fresh ground if you’ve got it

salt and pepper

*they recommend serving it with mashed potatoes or a green salad but we served it with buttered, steamed vegetables to save ourselves some evening carb calories.

IMG_2374Mix the beef, egg, onion, bread crumbs and parsley together, add salt, pepper and nutmeg. (mix with your hands, just like meat balls.)

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Make four large oval/round shaped patties, relatively thin.  Place a good sized hunk of feta in the middle, closer to one end and then fold the patty to create a little pocket, making sure to seal the edges but not to let the cheese come through the top or the bottom either.

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Cook them in the oil in a pan until they are nice and brown, maybe it took 20 minutes. Make sure to flip them cooking them on both sides.

Viola! IMG_2379

So now I’m a little braver to try some other recipes from the book and then hopefully visit the restaurants where they are featured.  Maybe after some practice we can invite some Franconians over to test the food and see what they think!

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