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Champions League Cook-Off: Round Two

Following the success of our first Champions League Cook-Off, BayernForum’s two cooking maestros – Dumbledore7 and #12 – have decided to take on each other once more. Inspired by Bayern’s trip to Madrid for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final, they have decided to produce a dish inspired by a mixture of Spanish and German cuisine. Read on to see they’ve come up with, but be warned… you’ll be feeling hungry by the end of it.

Let us know which dish you prefer by voting in the poll and writing in the comments section below.

Dumbledore7’s meal

Roasted duck leg with Schwammerlsauce, served alongside Spanish spicy red rice

The last round of cook-off looked to be well-received by the readers, so I’m really excited to do another one. Bayern are facing a tough Spanish opposition in Atletico Madrid this time, so for this round we are doing a dish inspired by both Spanish and German cuisines. My dish features duck, which is very much celebrated in Germany along with goose as special occasion food.

I took inspiration from spicy paella, which is one of the most prominent rice dishes not only in Spain but in the entire world. I put a twist on the traditional paella, so that it works better with the duck in terms of texture. In order to bring the dish together, I also made traditional Bavarian Schwammerlsauce, which is a creamy sauce featuring mushroom and bacon, of course with a bit of my own twist as well.

The sauce features some additional spices as well as a secret ingredient – BEER! Germany would probably crucify me for using alcohol-free beer and turkey bacon, but that’s all I can do given my restrictions. If you’re making this for yourself you should probably use REAL beer and REAL bacon!

The bacon went in first to get crisped up in butter. Then I threw in diced portabella mushrooms, onions and garlic, cooking them until soft. At this point we could start carefully seasoning with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once they became fragrant, the beer was added in to deglaze the pan. After this simmered for about one minute, cream and flour was added to thicken the sauce. Finally, I added a tiny pinch of smoked paprika and finely chopped parsley to finish this off. This sauce would go wonderfully well just about any kind of meat (not fish), it’s easy to make, comforting and bloody delicious. Highly recommended to try!

The duck leg was seasoned generously with some dried rosemary, oregano, salt, pepper and paprika (this thing shows up a lot doesn’t it?) as well. These were just rubbed all over and the duck was coated with just half a teaspoon of oil. The duck was pan-roasted on a smoking hot pan, to beautifully colour the exterior. Once it was nice and brown, I took the duck off and threw it in the oven until (I feel) it was cooked perfectly. The great thing about this was that you would be left with a pan with delicious rendered duck fat all over it. No chance in hell I was going to waste that, so it followed nicely to my final component…

My rice featured some red, hot, spicy, flavourful Spanish ingredients: Spanish chili paste, tomato, paprika, anchovies, olive and coriander (or cilantro for the Americans). As opposed to traditional paella which is kind of wet, this ended up quite dry – not unlike Chinese fried rice, but I used Spanish flavours instead. The rice was tossed in the pan with all that duck fat still on, so we didn’t need additional oil. The spices were then added up in the order I listed above. People call Spain the “Mecca of the European food world”, which is debatable, but once you cook this kind of spice mix you could understand where they’re coming from. Each individual grain of rice was just coated with an explosive amount of flavour, although I daresay still not quite at Asia’s level yet! 😛

I quickly fried an egg to go on top of the rice, as the yolk gave an extra richness to the dish, which the Spanish seem to do as well sometimes.

Roasted duck leg with Schwammerlsauce, served alongside Spanish spicy red rice

Roasted duck leg with Schwammerlsauce, served alongside Spanish spicy red rice

For my personal taste, I did enjoy this dish. The rice is spicy, sweet, salty and smoky and the sauce is creamy and mushroom-y. They might look weird together, but they turned out to work quite harmoniously because the creaminess and richness of the sauce balances the punchy, aggressive flavour of the rice. I knew the duck would work, it’s my all-time favourite protein to eat and I cook duck often, so it came out right. I’m quite happy with how the dish turned out and I hope you enjoyed the read! 😀

#12’s meal

Spargelcremesüppchen – Deutsch-Spanisches “Surf&Turf“ (Gegrillter Zwiebelrostbraten und Plancha-Gambas „al ajillo pil pil“) mit Aioli und Spicy-Aioli und zweierlei Spargel mit Serrano-Schinken

Ok, first of all, a few thoughts.

  • I was very nervous about this dish as it is not TOO complicated, but I think there’s a lot of possibilities to mess it up… 😛
  • There’s a lot of different steps included in the process of making this menu, so I confined myself to only a few pictures, since the product can be seen anyways and I didn’t want to flood the article with pictures…
  • Also, I know, that I am using asparagus and seafood – again! But what can I say? It’s that time of the year and I like both a lot…
  • The Zwiebelrostbraten is usually a roast-like dish served with wine-based gravy and, as it is a Swabian dish, usually Spätzle. I changed it a little – you’ll see later…
  • The “gambas al ajillo” is a tapas dish that – the way I know it – is usually swimming in garlic oil and being served with lots of bread… I also changed that a little. I’ll also explain later why…

Also, this is no dish for people that are at war with garlic (or wine for that matter… 😉 ) – if you have a partner, make sure he or she eats it too, or you’re gonna have to sleep alone… 😀

Ok, let’s get started…

Appetizer: Spargelcremesüppchen (Cream of asparagus soup)
#12 - 1 Now, this dish sounds very extravagant at first – but it’s actually pretty easy. I always make this, when I’m preparing asparagus, for the simple fact that it is easy to make, more or less a by-product (because you’d only throw out the skin anyway), and most importantly: it tastes like heaven 😉

Also, it’s another German influx, and – if we bear in mind the game – I guess we all hope the German side is the major player in this semifinal-“menu”… 😉

When peeling the (white) asparagus, I simply save the skin (and I also cut off a small piece of the bottom) and cook it in a pot together with some water, a little white wine, salt, and – if you want – a bouillon cube. Takes about half an hour, then just filter it to get the skin out.

Let some butter melt in the pot and add about the same amount of flour to it to make a roux. Then slowly add the broth to it.

In a separate bowl, combine sour cream with about 5 to 6 egg yolks. Stir in slowly a few ladles of the hot broth, then slowly mix the whole bowl with the broth in the pot. Season to taste – and your soup is done!

#12 - 2

Entrée: “Surf&Turf” vom Zwiebelrostbraten und Gambas al ajillo pil pil (Prime Rib Onion Steak&Garlic Black Tiger Shrimp)
So, this is where the whole thing gets a little more complicated… 😉 We have different ingredients here making up the final dish, with different degrees of doneness. We already had an appetizer and since this is an excursion to Spanish cuisine, I also wanted to use the plancha (Also, I wanted to stick to the grill to not make the whole thing TOO complicated… 😉 )
So I decided to adjust the dishes a little to my liking… 😉

As you can see, my local butcher is really generous and had the prime rib already cut up… I decided to make only half of it since it was more than 1lb… ;)

As you can see, my local butcher is really generous and had the prime rib already cut up… I decided to make only half of it since it was more than 1lb… 😉

#12 - 4

I marinated the Zwiebelrostbraten in a mixture of red wine, garlic (as you can see, I only used fresh garlic), peppercorns, juniper berries, allspice and a bay leaf. I did this one day in advance so that the spices and the marinade would have enough time to really soak into the meat.

dum6 dum7

For the gambas, I used just a little olive oil (cause I didn’t want all the stuff swim away on my plancha… 😛 ), some white wine, a lot of garlic 😉 , lime juice, chilies, spring onions, salt, pepper, coarse salt, parsley, and some paprika powder.

The asparagus I only salted and peppered and occasionally sprinkled with white wine during the cooking process. I decided on the twofold side dish because the green asparagus is from Spain, whereas the white one is Bavarian. 😉 (And, YES, OF COURSE the Bavarian tastes better! 😛 )

Before putting everything on the grill I prepared the aioli (garlic mayonnaise), using my Cuisinart (it’s the Vorwerk Thermomix ™ 😛 ).
Simply mix a raw egg with some Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, 2-3 cloves of garlic and some lime juice. Then slowly add olive oil while stirring until it emulsifies.

#12 - 7

For the spicy aioli I added some chili powder, some piri piri sauce and a little fresh chili after taking aside half of the regular aioli.#12 - 8 Now, I put the onions and the asparagus on the grill first, then I added the meat and finally the gambas. As I said, I occasionally sprinkled the asparagus and the gambas with white wine and added some salt to the asparagus from time to time…
(Also, I used a regional white, and a Spanish red wine… 😉 )

In all modesty: I think this looks awesome…

In all modesty: I think this looks awesome…

I actually managed for the asparagus to be done first which gave me enough time to wrap it in Serrano ham (But I’m not gonna lie to you, not without breaking a sweat… 😛 )
A little Salt on the meat, onions on top… Voilà!

As you can see, I tried my best to catch up with Dumble’s extraordinary food-dressing-skills this time around… ;)

As you can see, I tried my best to catch up with Dumble’s extraordinary food-dressing-skills this time around… 😉

The Verdict
What can I say? I chose this dish for a reason… I like all of the ingredients and I knew I would like the product. It’s a close call, and the Spanish side is struggling REALLY hard… But in the end, the German part is still what is giving the dish the final edge – as will hopefully be the case in this years’ CL semifinals! 😉

(Just in case you didn’t think I could cook a steak… :P )

(Just in case you didn’t think I could cook a steak… 😛 )

Bon appétit!

#12 - 12

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

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Category: BayernForum.com
  • Dumbledore7 says:

    I feel like I might get murdered on this one.

    • FCBayernMunchen says:

      I voted for #12 because I really wanted to eat that dish while I was uploading the article. 😛 (and I did so while eating). But I prefer both dishes over the Benfica ones, I believe. Well done to both!

  • ottackon says:

    You guys are nuts, but well done 🙂

  • IsiahRashad says:

    Nice work guys !
    PP:Regardless im only 23, last summer I worked as a chef at the best restaurant in my town,so i can say thing or two about what are you two doing 😛

    • Dumbledore7 says:

      You should join in for the next cooks off 😀

  • tflags says:

    Gotta say those photos look great.

  • MUTU says:

    OMG you made me so hungry! Last time I voted for Dumbledore7’s entry but I believe #12 wins hands down this time.

  • #12 says:

    Looks awesome Dumble! (y)