himmel und erde (heaven and earth)

Last week I was happy to get pears, and potatoes among other things from my CSA.  I love the changing variety of produce during late summer  and early fall.  All the perfect of ingredients for delicious comfort foods.  As soon as I came home with my share, I knew I had to make another of my favorite fall dishes, ‘himmel und erde’ aka, heaven and earth.  Traditionally, this dish is a blend of potatoes from the earth, and sweet apples from the sky.  Normally it is topped with caramelized onions.There is debate as to which region of Germany this dish comes from, it may not even be from Southern Germany.  Actually, the recipe is not from my Swabian cookbook at all, its something I mostly make from memory.  I decided to have it for breakfast along with some of the Apple Maple Breakfast Sausage made by Field Roast, nectarines, and plums.  Himmel und erde is lighter with a touch of sweetness.

himmel&erde

Recipe

  • 1 pound yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 pound apples (or pears)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Directions

Cut the potatoes into cubes. Slice the apples, and remove the seeds. Cook the potatoes in simmering water covered, for about 10 minutes. Add the apples and sugar, allow it to cook for another 20 minutes. In the meantime fry 2 medium onions with salt until golden brown. Once the potatoes and apples are cooked mash until relatively smooth. Place it in a serving bowl, and top with the onions.

fishless filet and potato salad

I have been vegan for over six years now, and I still get excited over finding new recipes or new products on the shelves.  I do not miss any of the animal products I used to eat.  I hardly think of those things as food anymore.  However on occasion I do have the craving for fish.  I usually just eat some seaweed snacks, and the feeling passes.  Recently, on a trip to Wegmans, I was happy to spot the Gardein fishless filets. I like some of the other products they have so I decided to purchase the only bag they had.
fishlessfishI hope Wegmans gets more soon, because I thought they were the perfect splurge to fulfill my cravings.  Mr. EastHill did not like them as much, but he also never liked fish.

As my theme for Vegan Mofo 2014 is on foods from the Swabian region of Germany, I decided to have the fishless filets with potato salad the way my grandmother made. The flavor of this potato salad improves over time, so make it the night before if you can.  I always assumed that you should add whatever herbs you have available in your garden, therefore I always add a little mint because I always have a lot. As it turns out though, no one else in my family adds mint.  Personally, I think it is a nice addition, but the salad tastes good without.

cucumbers

Along with mint, my garden also contains a large number of cucumbers.  It is amazing how much one small cucumber plant can produce.  A neighbor chipmunk has stolen most of my tomatoes, but I did manage to get some things.  Guess large cucumbers are too big for tiny paws.  Perhaps I will try growing larger tomatoes next year.  The other thing growing in great abundance right now is nasturtium flowers.  They are so easy to grow; I planted them directly from seeds!

Recipe011

  • 1 lb red skin potatoes
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chives
  • parsley
  • thyme
  • mint

 Directions

Here is a trick you may or not already know. Before going to bed, wash the potatoes, and place them in a pot with water. Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat and cover. The next day, or about 8 hours later your potatoes will be perfectly cooked.  You can also pressure cook them, they should be soft but not overly mushy.
Thinly slice the potatoes, and cucumber, and place in a large bowl. In a separate bowl add chopped onion, vinegar, oil, salt, mixture of fresh herbs. Heat the veggie broth to a simmer, and pour over the onion mixture, and stir. Add the onion mixture to the potatoes, and stir gently. Allow the potato salad to rest for a few hours in the fridge.

fishandsalad