Ever since my friend Kristin started to sell my book at her coffee bar, I get lovely feedback. Almost on a daily basis. For instance from a little girl who, encouraged by her dad, pointed out how much she liked the cheese cake they baked, and a young guy, who claimed (with a wink) that he can now marry his girlfriend – because she finally proved that she indeed can cook (my mini-quiche recipe). Together with the email feedback from avid readers it gives a nice, yet not representative hit list of the recipes my readers’ most often picked as their firsts to try (and which – in case you’re wondering – have been followed by rave reviews, too).
The top ten recipes (in no particular order):
Baguette with lemon-parmesan butter
Indian-style squash soup
Diced risotto with lamb skewers
Semifreddo with pumpkin-seed crunch
Cheese cake (Cafe Solo style)
and not to forget: my grandma Luise’s Schoppala.
Schoppala, what? Even many Germans will shake their head, because they don’t have the slightest clue what the name refers to. It is a regional name for traditional finger-shaped noodles made from potato dough, more commonly known by Fingernudeln or Schupfnudeln. While the dough is pretty similar to Italian Gnocchi dough, the preparation is even more time consuming and perhaps the reason these potato noodles are ready-made available in almost every Bavarian supermarket and hardly anybody makes them by hand anymore. Yet the freshly prepared version is so worth the effort!
My book on Amazon.com – an update:
I get lots of inquiries about when my book (English version) will become available on Amazon.com again. The next shipment is on its way – I’ll keep you posted as soon as you can order again.
Follow-up (October, 21st):
It is in stock again at Amazon.com!
It is one of my favorite recipes of all time and it was always something special when my grandma announced that she was going to prepare Schoppala for lunch. The family gathered around the kitchen table on the old wooden corner benches and as soon as the first ones had gained the desired golden-brown color, she put them on a plate and placed it in the middle of the table, so everybody could help themselves. Greedily we devoured them with our fingers, no matter how hot and greasy they still were. My grandma had a hard time keeping up the supply! If you’re up for a very special treat, love potatoes and are not afraid of extensive manual work, this is the recipe for you. They are wonderful as a side dish for any type of game or meat roast, or as a snack by themselves with a bowl of salad for example.
…drum roll, please!
At a minimum one correct answer got you into the lottery drawing (with all the other eligible candidates), and with a pinch of luck, randomly picked. These are the winners of a signed copy of my book – congrats!
* Rachel Lee from Singapore
* Attila from Munich, Germany
* Lili Roby from Marrickville, Australia
Steam or boil potatoes until soft, peel as hot as possible and press through a potatoe ricer. Then let cool down for at least 15 minutes.
Add the flour, salt, nutmeg and the egg and mix everything lightly with a fork (don’t forget to salt accordingly to taste!). Quickly form into dough dumpling by hand. The less you knead the potato dough, the better.
Immediately continue kneading it (the dough gets sticky otherwise): Take a handful, form on the floured board into rolls that are at least thumb-thick, and cut into pieces of equal size. Flour your hands and form into finger-thick noodles that are 8-10 cm (3-4 inches) long and place on a board dusted with flour or semolina.
Heat the clarified butter in a large pan and fry the Schoppala over medium heat until golden-brown. Be sure to carefully turn them over several times. Take out (let excessive fat drip off on a paper towel) and enjoy!
Grandma Luise's Schoppala
Recipe source: delicious days, page 99
Prep time: ~1-1,5 hour
Ingredients (for 4 as a side dish or snack):
750-800 g mealy boiling potatoes
75 - 100 g all-purpose flour (as needed), extra for dusting the board (or use semolina)
freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg
clarified butter for deep-frying