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Champions League Cook-Off: Round One

Over at our forum, we have two talented cooks in Dumbledore7 and #12. In order to mark the UEFA Champions League match against S.L. Benfica, our kitchen artists had one task: to produce a delicious dish inspired by Portuguese and German food. Take a read below and let us know who you think is the winner of round one of the Champions League Cook-Off!

Dumbledore7’s meal

Turkey Schnitzel on a bed of braised kale and linguiça, served with sides of rosemary mashed potatoes and Piri Piri-spiced shredded cod and beans

Inspired by the clash between the home team S.L. Benfica and my dear Bayern Munich in Lisbon, my cook instinct immediately tells me to create a dish incorporating flavours from both Portugal and Germany. Taking the mainstay of German cuisine, I decided to enhance Schnitzel and Kartoffeln (potatoes) with, after some research, what I understood to be Portuguese flavours.

Ingredients such as kale, olive oil, cod, Piri Piri chili, white beans and some variants of sausage are heavily involved in Portuguese cuisine. I decided to coat the dish with these flavours, keeping the Schnitzel as the main component – to analogise the Bayern Munich team playing in the Portuguese stadium Estádio da Luz tonight.

For the Portuguese components of this fusion dish, I made sides of fried kale and spiced beans mixed with shredded cod. Making the kale was easy enough, I wilted the kale in olive oil, and added in diced linguiça, which is a Portuguese sausage. I dressed this in olive oil, salt and vinegar. This was inspired by the Germans’ Rotkohl (red cabbage) and bacon, using Portuguese ingredients.

20160413_060859 The second side dish added the fiery Portuguese flavour to this dish and a bit more complex. The ingredients were relatively simple: peppers, tomatoes, onions, cod, Piri Piri and beans. Cod fillets were seared and then shredded, taking inspiration from Bacalhau à Brás (shredded cod dish originating from Lisbon, in line with our Benfica theme!). 20160413_061024The onions and peppers were browned until fragrant, and then I incorporated a couple tablespoons of powdered Piri Piri and some tomato purée to bind them. The white beans and cod were folded in after this mixture had developed its flavour. I didn’t know what flavours I had to exactly look for since I’ve never been to Portugal, but I have to say the combined flavour of cod and the spices were explosive. Absolutely delicious. A bit of this mixture was smoothly blended with a bit of beef stock to make a small amount of sauce.

20160413_060837For the starch component for the dish, I used the most cliché, German ingredient – potatoes. I decided to mash instead of roasting them because I reckoned the flavours will incorporate better. This was, again, simple enough to make. Simply mashed the heck out of boiled potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, butter, rosemary, chives and cream.

20160413_060921For the Schnitzel, I used turkey steaks (because I only had those in my fridge). Traditionally, I coated the turkey in flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs. To put a bit of extra tinge I incorporated paprika and lemon zest to the flour and bread crumbs, on top of the regular salt and pepper. These were then shallow-fried to the ultimate crispiness.

The final dish ended up delicious! I do wish I had more than myself to judge it from taste, though. I hope this inspires the readers to try this surprisingly beautiful marriage of two cuisines. At the end of the day, the German Schnitzel played really well in around these Portuguese flavours and was still the star of the dish. Hopefully the same thing will happen with Bayern in Lisbon tonight!


Turkey Schnitzel on a bed of braised kale and linguiça, served with sides of rosemary mashed potatoes and Piri Piri-spiced shredded cod and beans

#12’s meal

Schnitzel „Wiener Art“ mit Gurken-Schmand-Salat und Paella Português

So following Dumbledore’s proposal of a Champions-League-clash-based entrée-arrangement, I decided to go for the below long read version… 😉 The Portuguese part of my dish will be the Paella. I chose this particular dish, as it is kind of Risotto-like and therefore makes a good side for the Schnitzel, which we basically both agreed on making.

I decided that a major part of the whole arrangement should be the German influx, so I added a side of cucumber salad to it (also, the cucumbers needed to be used anyway, so it was like killing two birds with one stone… 😛 ) – in order to make the entrée look like the game I’m hoping for: German dominant throughout, accompanied by a tasteful and skilled but not too “striking” 😛 Portuguese side…

The Paella

Let’s start with the Portuguese part: with a few exceptions, you can basically see all the ingredients in the following picture:


(chorizo, shrimp, mussels, aborico rice, red bell pepper, tomatoes, asparagus, onion, garlic, paprika, salt, saffron, chicken broth, a bit of lime, and for my taste: a little cayenne chili)

Notice, that I cut up the chorizo in very small pieces, so that Dumble won’t accuse me of cheating… 😉

I started stir frying the ingredients that take a little longer to be done, added spices to my taste (I always do this more or less in the moment when cooking…), then I put it in the oven (400 degrees) for about 10 mins, and then I added the shrimps and mussels and gave it another 5 mins.


The “Gurken-Schmand-Salat”

image003The cucumber-sour cream salad is – at least for me – a classic German side. My grandma used to make these to perfection. It’s a relatively easy dish: You just peel the cucumber and shred it, put in some salt and wait for some water to “drain” from them… 😉 – basically so that your salad is not swimming away in the end. 😛

I did this at first so there would be enough time to get rid of most of the water… Just pour it away before finishing the salad off. Then add a little vinegar, herbs to taste, some pepper, a little more salt and the sour cream – that’s basically it…

German masterclass 😛 –Schnitzel “Wiener Art”

image005As for the Schnitzel: I used pork, which is perfectly fine, as Vienna is not in Germany anyway 😛 The Schnitzel “Wiener Art” is pretty common. You can take whichever cut you like… My mum usually takes juicy in the end. I decided to spare you of that and used leg meat – as you can see in a picture further down, it’s still juicy but not fat. I used salt, pepper, a little paprika and rosemary. Then you flip it in a mixed egg and afterwards in the breadcrumbs.

Now, you wanna use clarified butter (and enough of it!) to fry the Schnitzel. Trust me! 😉 Make sure the pan is very hot, then turn down the heat, because you want it to get a nice golden colour, but not turn dark… Depending on your Schnitzel, you should turn it after about 2-4 minutes and then give it another 2-4…

image009Just a little tip if you want to do this yourself: my mom taught me to put on a lid and add a little water – which makes the Schnitzel turn out to be very tender and the crust will turn soft… I decided not to do that this time, since that’s more or less a matter of taste and for this “competition” I wanted to stick to the “classic” Schnitzel… 😉

image007The Schnitzel – as you can see – turned out to be extremely crisp and tender – Germans on the rise! 😛

The verdict!

I was actually surprised about the taste of the paella… The tastes of chorizo, seafood and garlic combined really well and honestly: I hadn’t expected to like it that much (I usually don’t combine seafood with meat…). I knew my Schnitzel was gonna be awesome, but I actually liked how the whole dish turned out… I will definitely do this again! Judging by the taste, it’ll be a close 1-2 for Bayern! 😉

Bon appétit!


So who do you think is the winner, Dumbledore7 or #12?

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  • MUTU says:

    I can’t choose a winner yet, but you sure made me feel hungry!

  • FCBayernMunchen says:

    #12 gets my vote because I would probably prefer those ingredients myself, but as far as looks and presentation go, Dumbledore wins it for me.

    • MUTU says:

      Yes, I agree that Dumbledore7 wins it on terms of presentation.
      On level of effort and complication, #12 has the edge.

      However, since I’m not a fan of seafood, if I had to choose a plate to eat I would go for Dumbledore7.

  • Dumbledore7 says:

    #12’s dish looks like something you can just triple the amount and mow down on all day long. I’d be happy to lose to that!

  • ttoad92 says:

    Very Tough choice both of you did a fantastic job and i’d be more than happy to eat both! 😀 Dumbledore7’s Turkey Schnitzel just edged it for me, so my vote goes to him!