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An Easter menu

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(serves 4)

Clear Soup with Spring Vegetables

1 l chicken broth, 1 good handful each of young vegetables, chopped bite-size: Carrots, cauliflower, kohlrabi, leeks, celery, spring onions (only the whites and light greens); chervil leaves, salt and cayenne pepper.

Bring the broth to a boil, then add in whichever chopped vegetable takes the longest to cook. Most of the time it will be carrots. Cover and wait for the broth to boil again and now follow with the vegetable that takes the second longest, celeriac for instance. And so on. Finally, after the spring onions have landed in the pot, bring to the boil again, taste for the salt, sprinkle a pinch of cayenne into the soup - and turn off the flame, about ½ hour before serving.

Now the soup is simmering with the residual heat: the vegetables are cooked but not mushy, the flavours combine; yet all the ingredients retain their own flavour - and on top of that the broth remains wonderfully clear. Before serving, reheat the soup, season one last time, grate a touch of nutmeg over the top and garnish with the chervil.

 

char in sorrel cream

4 char fillets with skin, 2 shallots, salt, pepper, 1 handful young sorrel leaves, 2 tbsp butter, 1/8 l white wine, 3 tbsp cream.

Salt and pepper the washed, well-dried fillets. Finely dice the shallots, wash and dry the sorrel and cut into strips. Heat the butter in a wide, shallow pan, sauté the shallots in it until translucent, add the sorrel, deglaze with the wine, place the fillets on top, cover and cook over a low heat for about 8 minutes. Remove the fillets and keep warm. Whip the stock with a hand blender or in a mixer, adding the cream. Heat again briefly, season to taste and serve with the fillets.

 

Rabbit with Morels

1 rabbit, cut into 8 pieces; 1 tbsp clarified butter, 2 shallots, 1 tbsp butter, 200 g fresh morels, 1 small glass white wine, 2 cups cream, 1 tsp mustard, port wine, parsley, salt, pepper.

In a casserole, heat clarified butter and brown the meat well on all sides, but not over too high a heat! It should look golden brown. While you're at it, salt and pepper it vigorously. In the meantime, finely chop the shallot. Wash the mushrooms several times, rub between your hands and squeeze well. Remove the meat and preheat the oven to 175°. Drain the excess fat from the pot, sauté the shallot cubes in the butter, add the morels and sauté for a short time. Deglaze with white wine, put the meat back into the pot, add cream and season again. Put it into the oven, after a good hour it should be cooked. If the backs, which get dry easily, only braise for half the time, they are guaranteed to stay juicy. Season the sauce again, add mustard and port. Sprinkle chopped parsley over meat and sauce, serve with ribbon noodles and a light red.

 

Rhubarb with yoghurt mousse

2 egg yolks, 60 g icing sugar, 2 tsp grated lemon zest (from an untreated fruit), 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 cups cream yoghurt, 3 sheets white gelatine, 1/4 l whipped cream.

1 kg rhubarb, 150 g sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 8 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice.

The dessert is best prepared the day before. First cook the rhubarb compote so it can cool. Clean the rhubarb and cut it into 2-3 cm long pieces, pulling off the strings. Let 100 g sugar caramelize in a spacious pan, pour in the lemon and orange juice and let it boil away while stirring. Steam the rhubarb pieces in it, turning them gently as you do so. They should not be overcooked. Add the rest of the sugar, cover and leave to cool.

For the mousse, soak the gelatine in cold water. Beat the egg yolks well, gradually stir in the icing sugar and lemon zest and juice, then the yoghurt.

Express the gelatine well and dissolve it in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Work it into the mixture and chill until the yogurt pulp begins to streak when stirred. Now mix well with the stiffly whipped cream. Finally, pour the mousse into a nice bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate. To serve, cut off dumplings with a spoon and serve with the rhubarb.

 

At Blauetikett-Bornträger in Offstein near Worms

The experts are of course familiar with the house. Dedicated novices to organic gardening soon come across it, whether reading Marie-Luise Kreuter's classic "The Organic Garden" or the writings of Fulda Abbey. However, what "Blauetikett" means as part of the name remains unclear, and it requires clarification by boss Dr. Doris Väth.

Nothing more is behind it than that Heinrich Bornträger, who founded the nursery in 1932, was a graphic artist by training and connected his weakness for the color blue with the name of the company. The passionate plant lover was not bothered by the fact that the "right" gardeners laughed at him, that he was regarded as "the one with the weeds", as his medicinal and aromatic plants were dismissed. But Bornträger knew better and ran his hobbyhorse, which soon became his bread and butter, organically right from the start. The boss says modestly that other nurseries have been doing this for a long time now. But the legendary reputation of the house was firmly established with it. So there is no need for brochures on glossy paper, but simple order forms are enough: one each for tea and spices, seeds and plants.

The extraordinary robustness of these is another characteristic of the special Bornträger quality. This is because the perennials are basically not pre-driven, but overwintered outdoors, which makes them strong and resistant, so that they develop quickly and splendidly after planting in the home garden. The market leader can confirm it. Clary sage, which arrived as a tiny, wilted, even feeble-seeming plant, has now grown as big and strong as you could wish for.

With around 700 items, the Bornträger range is of such abundance that you can be sure to find virtually "all". From wild garlic to hyssop and lemon thyme among the herbs; from the formerly everywhere native Good Henry, which can be prepared like spinach, to time-honoured blue lettuce, the perennial salad vegetable, to verbena, the druid's herb. You can prepare a delicious parfait or elegant, finely spiced tea from it. Last but not least, you can legally purchase rare plants that are protected in the wild, such as Bergwohlverleih, Osterluzei or Edelweiss. In the seed department one is pleased about the column "Omas Küchengarten".

So that nobody makes itself in vain on the way, it is clarified that one can fetch very well its order in the again built timber house at the Offsteiner local edge, a self-service nursery is Bornträger however not. For some time now there has been an online shop. The knowledgeable ladies deal with transplanting and pricking out, with drying the seeds and teas and last but not least with the processing of the numerous incoming orders, because now is the season in the gardens. But there should be time for an Easter menu.

 

Blauetikett-Bornträger GmbH

Dr. Doris Väth

67591 Offstein (near Worms)

Tel: 06243-905326, Fax: 905328;

E-mail: borntraeger@t-online.de

Homepage: www.blauetikett.de

from Waldemar Thomas

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