Low-Carb Diet, Recipes

Cooking Tripe – Banned!!!

Tripe stew is a common dish in southern Germany, where I am from.  It’s actually parts of cow, pork, or lamb stomachs and has a neutral taste and kind of a chewy texture. My Grandma used to spend all day in the kitchen preparing it and cooking it in a white thick stew.  After living 18 years in the United States, we came back to Germany and I figured that I should give cooking tripe stew another try, just hadn’t been that successful over the years – after all, nobody can make it as good as Grandma made it!!!

So I went to the Commissary and bought a frozen pack of tripe and made myself smart online on how to prepare it, while it defrosted.  To my dismay, when I opened the pack, I realized that my tripe was still green, not the already pre-boiled type you get from the butcher shop. Green tripe is supposed to be excellent to make dog food out of.  So, I googled some more and found out how to clean and prep it myself.

I dumped the contents of the bag in a colander and rinsed it several times.  Peeeyew!!!  It smelled so bad like stable, but I knew it was supposed to.  Then I took each section and peeled off the inner membrane, the stomach lining, and picked the “green” bits of grassy material from it.  Then I transferred the cleaned tripe into a bowl of cold salt water to soak overnight in the fridge.

Only one minor problem remained – my hands stank to high heaven and not even dish-soap could get rid of the ode a’la pig style.  It was really bad.  I was desperate, so I tried some spa hand-scrub stuff I had in one of my bathroom drawers.  It actually worked and my hands smelled like I just took a nice bubble bath…

The next day, I poured the tripe into a colander and rinsed it again.  Now it was time to boil it in some salt water for a while.  Again, I knew it would smell kind of stablely again – that’s normal.  When my husband and teenage sons came back, they almost walked out backwards.  “Holy crap, what smells like a..?” my husband asked.  My sons were a little more polite.  I told them that I was making “Kutteln” and we’d have it for dinner tonight.  I used the German word, so they didn’t know what they would be eating and at least give it a try.  They about gagged.

Finally, after it cooked for about 3 hours, I rinsed the tripe again and cut the pieces into thin strips.  Since I’m following a primal lifestyle, I didn’t want to use the thick, white soup, since it’s prepared with flour.  Instead, I heated up some ghee (clarified butter) in a pan, glazed some onions, and added the tripe strips.  For a finish touch I spiced the dish with some salt, pepper, a bay leaf and a bit of ground cloves and let the stuff cook for a bit.

When my tripe was finished, I put it in a bowl and sat down at the dinner table, not knowing what to expect.  For some reason, I felt very lonely at the table.  Yet, I got over my initial aversion and tried a fork full.  Actually, it didn’t turn out too bad.  It was chewy, as I thought, and the flavor was surprisingly not like the smell.  I called my kids down from their rooms to have them try some of my yummy dish.  Reluctantly, they took a bite – gotta give them that much credit – then, when I asked them if they wanted a plate full, they politely declined.  Somehow, my starving children were no longer feeling hungry.  I didn’t even attempt to ask my husband to try it.  He made it clear the day before that he will not have a single bite of that stuff.  Well, after about half of a small bowl, I had enough, covered the rest, and put it into the fridge for consumption at a later day/time.  My husband told me: “You better put it out in the sun to heat it up, because you’re not cooking that sh.. in the house!”

This morning when I went into the kitchen to feed my begging kitties, the smell of tripe still lingered in the air and my family had no problems in saying so.  My husband finally said that tripe is “FORBIDDEN IN OUR HOUSE, FOREVER MORE!”

Moral of the story:  Just because something smells like a.., it doesn’t have to taste like sh..!

Low-Carb Diet, Recipes

Low-Carb Waffles (or Pancakes)

 

Brussels Waffle (known in the USA as Belgian W...
Brussels Waffle (known in the USA as Belgian Waffle) with Strawberries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hmmmm… pancakes, waffles… I miss all those foods, especially when my family wants them for breakfast on the weekends.  This is a very dangerous time for low-carbers, well, at least it is for me.

As I was browsing the web, I found this German low-carb forum.  I skimmed some of the topics and found a thread about low-carb pancakes and waffles.  Hoping that it was not just another recipe with protein powders and baking mixes, stuff I can’t get easily where I live, I clicked on it and found that the dough only has simple everyday ingredients in it.  That’s just what I needed!   In Germany, Mandelmehl (ground blanched almonds) is very common and can be found in little bags in the baking section.  But, should you have trouble finding it in your store, you can make it yourself, per George Stella, by grinding your own almonds in a blender or food processor).  Anyway, here’s the recipe:

LOW-CARB WAFFLES (or PANCAKES)

Yields about 5 Waffles

  • 2 medium eggs (I used large)
  • 100 g blanched almond flour
  • 1 tsp. Splenda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • a little water, heavy cream or soy milk (I used cream)
  • a little vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and slowly add liquid until it has the consistency of pancake dough.  Then cook as usual with butter in a pan for pancakes or in a waffle iron for waffles.

Carb counts vary based on liquid used.  Plus, I’m not getting too hung up on carb counts – I get too obsessive about those when I do – reminds me of the old Weight Watchers days when I had to count points.

Prep Experience:  I made the waffle version this morning.  It was actually really simple  to mix all the ingredients together.  The almond meal already comes in 100 g packets, Splenda is a staple in my kitchen, and so are eggs and heavy cream.  I added the dry ingredients first, which took half a minute, then added enough cream until I had the consistency right, not to thick, but not too thin so that it’ll run out of the waffle maker.  I was done in 2 minutes.  I put a bit of butter in each of the squares of the waffle maker and added a ladle full of dough in each square, closed the lid and waited for the steam to slow – I don’t trust the light in my old machine.  Oh, they smelled so delicious and looked just like real waffles.  I couldn’t wait to try them!

Culinary Bliss: Once the waffles were cooked I put them on a cooling rack, so they don’t get soggy, and helped myself to 2 squares.  Out of curiosity I broke off a small corner and nibbled on it cautiously.  Wow!  It tasted surprisingly like the real thing, sweet and bready, except for a tiny bit more of a crunch, as the almonds are a little grainier than normal flower.  The mouth-feel and the flavors were all there!  I melted a small bit of butter on top of my waffle and drizzled some sugar-free maple syrup on top.  Oh, I was in heaven!  And because of the almonds, these two squares were extremely filling.  I was fully expecting my blood sugar level to crash, as it would with real waffles, but 3 hours later, I had no issues at all.  Way to go!  This is definitely a keeper!!! (and I still have 3 waffles in the freezer for days I’m running late in the morning).

I think next time I make waffles, I go with the whipped cream and berries variation, just to step outside the box of eating it the same way.

Low-Carb Diet, Recipes

Low-Carb Fries – Best Substitute Yet!

One day a few weeks ago I was dying for some french fries.  Potatoes are out of the question, so I was looking online for some low-carb alternatives.

There are several veggies that work well:

  • Celeriac Français : Céleri-raveCelery Root (Celeriac): Those things look really ugly, like an off-white ball with squiggly things on the bottom side.  They are a pain to peel, but it’s well worth the effort.  Celery roots are really good when cut like shoestring fries and thrown into the Fry Daddy!  They don’t get as crisp as real fries, but somehow the flavor to me is better than the real thing.  I sprinkle them with some season salt when they’re done! YUMMMMY!!!

 

  • KohlrabiKohlrabi: Another veggie that I grew up with here in Germany.  I figured that kohlrabi is similar in texture to potatoes and the celery root, so I peeled one, cut it up, and fried it.  Those fries were okay but not as flavorful as the celery root.  In a pinch, these will do.  Kohlrabi is also very delicious when you eat it raw.  It makes an awesome snack and has almost half the amount of carbs than an apple.

 

 

  •  Jicama at a market in Taxco, MexicoJicamas: Couldn’t find any in Germany yet.  I’ll keep my eyes peeled, because the forums are buzzing with people raving about jicama fries.

 

 

 

 

This is how I prepared my yummy fries:  

  • Heat up lard (or fat of choice) in deep-fryer
  • Peel and cut root vegetable into french fries.  (Shoe-string type fries work best)
  • I double-fry mine:  Deep fry for a few minutes until half-way done & put in a bowl until the rest of the fries are done, then fry again until they’re getting a little bit brown, but don’t let them burn.
  • When finished, put them in a bowl lined with a paper towel, to keep them from getting too soggy.  Sprinkle with Season Salt or whatever seasoning you like.  Serve fresh.

Although these french-fries are not quite as crispy as their regular counterparts, they do burst with flavor, which you can’t say about potato french fries.  When I make my fries, I usually make a batch of normal fries for my husband, but my teenagers and I always wipe out the celery root fries.

Have you tried making low-carb fries with another vegetable?  How did they turn out?  My goal is to find the “ultimate” low-carb french fries recipe, even though, the celery root version comes pretty darn close to be the winner.