Cooking in Germany – Riesling & Salmon Date Night

27 Apr

IMG_0319‘We are not winemakers; we do not make wine. We simply prepare the environment for wine to come into being’. 

I read this quote recently in a book by a German wine importer. Terry Thiese thought it was worth noting and so do I. This Riesling grower has humbly admitted that he is at the mercy of his land. All that consumers appreciate about his wine has been credited to his soil. I love it. I am reminded that I don’t make food… I only prepare it. I am blessed with a generous variety of local meats and produce. I marry ingredients together that will hopefully come alive on your plate as they have in my home. See below for a quick and easy date night recipe that I recently concocted with all that I have embraced in Germany… Mosel Riesling and farmers markets! I couldn’t help but weave in a little story from our recent travels that helped inspire this post 🙂

We recently traveled to Amsterdam which to my surprise offered much more than funky vintage shops, canals, and  saucy ladies parading in the red light district. This Dutch town has some serious character… a wonderland for bicyclists. Taxis, trains, and cars take a back seat when it comes to priority on the roadway. The Dutch put the pedal to the medal and exercise their way through town. When I reflect on the long weekend, one image will forever be painted in my mind. I had plopped my tush on a cruiser and was attempting to take in as much of the local scene as possible. Meanwhile, my legs were heavy and begrudgingly pressing onward toward our destination that was a total of 3 miles from base camp. I thought to myself,’ Goodness. Get it together woman… you are 31 years old!’ Ten minutes into the ride, a Dutch woman about 10 years my senior sailed past me with a 10 year old daughter seated in front and an 8 year old daughter seated behind her. She effortlessly towed a total of 250 pounds through town on a Saturday morning to run her errands. I found myself staring in awe. She was actually quite ordinary in her appeal with auburn hair, pale skin, and baggy neutral colored clothing; however, her subtle confidence and strength were admirable and seamlessly fitting in. The grace at which she passed multiple people was so smooth that second glances were only taken to experience her beauty… a natural beauty that shined and came alive in Amsterdam, her home. Traveling allows us to experience the essence of a particular place. The food, the wine, the architecture,  the flowers, the culture… all of these wonderful things come alive as you pause and embrace their charm.

As I’m now fully settled in Germany, I thought I would share a piece of this place with a recipe. Believe it or not, I’m not putting sausage and kraut on your table… but I do eat quite a bit of that! I have recently become obsessed with Mosel Riesling. The steep terraced slopes along the Mosel River are beyond breathtaking. While the landscape represents one of the most intense areas of viticulture in the world, the wines themselves are quite delicate and refined. I gathered up some ingredients from our local market and whipped up this recipe …I sipped and cooked with a bottle recently purchased from an estate we visited.

 Salmon with Endive & White Beans Simmered in Riesling (serves 2)

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 whole endives chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 shallots minced
  • 1 can cannellini white beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • Salt to season
  • 1 lemon
  • Minced parsley for garnish
  • 1 bottle Mosel Riesling
  • Recommended sides – mashed potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, sautéed spinach

Start with sauté of endive, garlic, and shallots in 1 1/2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until all are soft. Pinch of salt. Pour a 1/4 cup of Mosel Riesling and let the liquid cook off for a minute or so. Evenly distribute the sauté on 2 plates. Turn the heat up to medium high and add in the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp butter. Season the salmon with salt on both sides. Skin side up, lay both fillets in the pan. Get a good buttery and crispy crust on the first side. Flip after about 3 minutes and squeeze lemon over both fillets. Put lid on top, turn heat down slightly, and let cook just a few minutes more. Once fish becomes flaky, all done… depends on thickness. Layer salmon fillets over endive mixture and garnish with parsley. Serve with chilled Mosel Riesling and side of choice.

Q & I pictured below soaking up the beauty of tulips at Keukenhof in Holland.

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2 Responses to “Cooking in Germany – Riesling & Salmon Date Night”

  1. Mio's Hot Food April 27, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    great combination , I’m impressed 🙂

  2. Alison chenier April 27, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

    Love it!😍

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