Japanese cookbooks

This christmas I also got three Japanese cookbooks as a gift. First “Japan das Kochbuch”(Japan the cookbook). It is a big bible like cookbook about real traditional Japanese cuisine, its history and recipes from appetizers to dessert. This book is really thick and has beautiful pictures of the dishes.

The second book is “Einfach Authentisch Japanisch Kochen” (simply authentic Japanese cooking). It is a lot thinner then the first one and also has a lot of western influenced japanese dishes in it like curry rice and melonpan. There are less real photos in it and more drawings of ingredients and dishes.

The last book is called “Manga Kochbuch Japanisch” (Manga cookbook Japanese). From the theme there are a lot of dishes that a well known from Anime and Manga and dishes that are favorites of japanese Teens. This book has a combination of drawn art and some nice vibrant photos.

Christmas roast

I wish you all a merry christmas! Yesterday I celebrated with my family. As presents I got some really nice books. Three of the books I received were japanese cookbooks. So get ready for some japanese cuisine in the future!

But today I cooked a beef roast with gravy for the first christmas day.
I made a rich sauce with mirepoix, tomatoe paste, redwine, beef stock and a lot of time. What did you have for christmas?

Christmas cookies

Only a short time ago, after a break of 20 years, I started to bake some christmas cookies again. Two weeks ago my team from work and I baked together in an online call as a team event. It was great fun, especially because we tradet recipes.

But baking is quite diffult for me I think. You can’t taste the food while you bake it and can’t adjust while baking. So everything must be correctly measured, mixed and rested before you put the dough in the oven. Also last time I didn’t know how to apply my citrus sugar glaze correctly.

This time I let the cookies cool down, and after that I would dip them in the glaze. Sure I don’t think this new batch of cookies today were perfect. But it is a great improvement in comparrison to the batch from two weeks ago. I mean some of the cookies last time I even transformed some in burned caramell cookies by accident xD

Ragout alla Bolognese

Ragout alla Bolognese

Today my nephew was visiting us here in Berlin to stay the night because of an job related issue. So like every good uncle would do, I cooked Ragu alla Bolognese for him (and grandma) from scratch.

Ragu alla Bolognese or also known simply as Bolognese-sauce is a dish with many misconceptions in the normal population. I myself as a kid thought it was simply a tomatoe sauce with minced meat in it. But in truth it is a meat sauce with alot of vegetables(see pic 2) in it which gets cooked with the help of wine, some milk or cream and broth/stock. Tomatoe products are a more modern addition to the recipe which is older than tomatoes in Europe.


Another famous Bolognese point is: You don’t eat the Ragu with Spaghetti. Of course it is not impossible to enjoy it with Spaghetti as most parts of the world besides Italy do. But from an italian point of view this is a sin. As the delicious sauce can’t stay on the thin pasta most of the time. Tagliatelle, Penne, Rigatoni are a much better fit for a heavy Ragu

To be honest of course the Ragu I cooked today also isn’t a traditional one, as I might some changes to try them out. First some of the minced meat I used are leftovers from the stuffing from the roulades from the other day. Then I used a dry white wine and chicken stock for the sauce, where traditionally you would use red wine and beef broth.

Tagliatelle alla Bolognese

Beef roulade

Beef roulade with potatoes

Today I cooked beef roulades for my grandma and myself. This roulades but had a twist I got from a cooking video I watched. Traditionally you would but bacon, onion and pickles inside the roulade. But in this recipe you sweat the onions put a little bit of milk and bread crumps in them and then mix it up with minced meat and pickles. And with this stuffing you fill the inside of the roulade.

This has multiple benefits. First the meat stays moist from the inside. As the beef for roulades is normally a pretty lean cut that normally easily can try out. Second, the stuffing holds everything together and less stuff is in danger to burst out while cooking.

Beef roulade cut open

Normally my grandma doesn’t like the normal filling of roulades and she would always make one empty one for herself. But she said that this stuffing was simply delicious and all the ingredients didn’t bother her. I think this is the way I will make roulades in the future from now on.