New Zealand rugby cook book

New Zealand dishes for the arrival weekend

We’re back! Since Saturday, shock frozen, we arrived back in Cologne and used the weekend to get acclimatized. At least the temperatures are suitable for Christmas again. Speaking of which, the Christmas market at the Alter Markt here in Cologne has a little more to offer than just food stalls, there is a lot of craftsmanship to see. Very much recommended!

In New Zealand I couldn’t resist buying a book called “NZ Rugby Kitchen”. A cook book with really nice photos and great recipes. Some of them will probably not be realized here due to the missing ingredients. Others, however, we will definitely cook more often. On the evening of our arrival we made a Roasted Pumpkin and Feta Risotto, which was not that complicated, but tasted even more delicious.

Yesterday we made the Pumpkin, Kumara and Pinenut Quiche (sweet potato, pumpkin and pine nuts). As dough we simply used tarte flambée dough, because we didn’t find anything else in a hurry (and with jetlag). After a somewhat longer preparation and baking time we were welcomed by a wonderfully smelling pie, which tasted so fantastic that we almost completely ate it that evening. The book has already paid off!


Meals from the herb garden

Roasted leg of venison, in September herb sauce, baked herb tomato, green nettle Knöpfle.
Roasted leg of venison, in September herb sauce, baked herb tomato, green nettle Knöpfle.

Last weekend I was visiting home again. My grandparents suggested to go to a restaurant where the meals are made with many natural ingredients from the region.

Nearly every dish is at least refined with wild herbs there. So it should not be surprising if there is a little daisy on the leg of venison, which of course can be eaten as well. Just like everything you get served (except the dishes…). Most of us chose the menu which consisted of many small courses, well portioned and extremely diverse. During the main course we were even asked if we wanted a second serving, but none of us made use of that. You surely get stuffed here. And there is also no rush, as the restaurant is completely dedicated to slow food.

Wild herbs menu of the restaurant "Deutsche Eiche".
Wild herbs menu of the restaurant “Deutsche Eiche”.

Slow Food, basically the opposite of fast food, stands for regionality and authentic preparation, among other things. On the website of the “Deutsche Eiche” (German Oak), for example, it says: “In the oak, the subject of “food” is as untainted as the food itself. We do not use genetically modified and colourful packets, flavour enhancers and convenience products. We produce our own minced meat as required. Basic sauces and stocks for soups are cooked here – how else are we going to use a whole Galloway?” We all enjoyed it very much. And even the things we didn’t like, we have fond memories of. All in all, it was definitely an experience.

Update: Unfortunately the restaurant no longer exists in this form.