Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strawberries and Sheep´s Milk Feta - Erdbeeren mit Schafsmilchkäse


Last weekend we attended a regional Sheep Judging Competition that was held at one of our favorite places to visit with the kids, an outdoor museum. It is just about a thirty minute drive from where we live, so when the museum holds one of its special events, such as Pretzel Day, Market Day, etc. we make sure to visit whenever we can.
Am vergangenen Wochenende haben wir mit unseren Kindern den Bergischen Schäfertag im LVR-Freilichtmuseum in Lindlar, welcher dort in seiner 6. Auflage abgehalten wurde, besucht. Das Museum ist nur etwa dreißig Minuten Fahrtzeit entfernt, so dass wir zu besonderen Veranstaltungen gerne dorthin fahren.




On Sunday, there was also honey from the local beekeeper, who keeps his bees within the boundaries of the outdoor museum, as well as jams, jellies, syrups and other specialties to choose from. You could feast on grilled sausages or a special type of meatloaf ("Lberkäse") or craft a Mother´s Day gift using natural materials such as birch twigs, moos, and wood. But there was one product in particular that caught my attention, namely an organic Sheep´s Milk Feta in a salt water brine from a regional producer.
Es gab an diesem Tag auch Honig von einem Imker, dessen Bienenkörbe auf dem Gelände des Museums stehen. Auch Marmeladen, Gelees, Sirups und andere Spezialitäten wurden verkauft. Es wurden Würstchen und Leberkäse vom Grill angeboten oder man konnte ein Muttertags-Geschenk aus Naturmaterialien, wie Birkenzweigen, Moos und Holz basteln. Ein Produkt hat aber insbesondere meine Aufmerksamkeit erregt, nämlich Schafsmilchkäse in Meersalzlake vom Schäferhof.




We really enjoy goat cheeses but we also are true fans of sheep´s milk cheeses. With its earthy aromas, a quality sheep´s milk feta cheese combines all the elements we admire in cheese - creamy, sweet, salty, and savory.
Wir mögen Ziegenkäse wirklich gerne, aber Käse aus Schafsmilch schmeckt uns fast noch besser - und nach Art des Fetas in Meersalzlake eingelegt, schmeckt er wunderbar mild und cremig.




Sheep´s milk cheese is perfectly suited for a range of different recipes, and while the producer had a selection of recipes on display that all sounded wonderful, I was taken by the idea of combining sweet strawberries with the salty sheep´s milk feta. Especially since the first local strawberries have hit the markets around here and are quite delicious.
Schafsmilchkäse eignet sich hervorragend für eine Reihe von verschiedenen Rezepten. Am Stand des Schäferhofs lagen auch jede Menge leckere Rezepte aus, aber die Idee einer Kombination von süßen Erdbeeren und Schafsmilchkäse hat mich dann doch am meisten interessiert. Vor allem, weil hier seit einigen Tagen die ersten süßen Erdbeeren aus der Region erhältlich sind.




Strawberries and Sheep´s Milk Feta

Ingredients 
  • 250 grams feta cheese of your choice (brined in salted water, not oil) 
  • fresh strawberries 
  • fresh basil leaves, torn or whole (I used purple and green basil)
  • a few drizzles of crema di balsamico
  • freshly ground pepper (black or white)
Erdbeeren mit Schafsmilchkäse

Zutaten
  • 250 Gramm Feta oder anderer Käse nach Art des Fetas (in Salzlake)
  • frische Erdbeeren 
  • frisches Basilikum, ganze oder in Stücke gezupfte Blätter (ich habe violettes und grünes Basilikum genommen)
  • ein wenig Crema di Balsamico
  • frisch gemahlener Pfeffer (schwarz oder weiß)



Preparation
  1. Wash and dry the strawberries carefully. Then hull them and cut them in half or quarters.
  2. Take the feta out of the brine and drain on paper towels.
  3. Cut the feta into cubes.
  4. On a platter, gently combine the cubed feta and strawberries. Drizzle with crema di balsamico. Finish with some fresh basil leaves.
  5. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and serve immediately. - Served as a first course or as a side dish to roast chicken or lamb chops for example. Bread is also nice alongside.
Zubereitung
  1. Die Erdbeeren vorsichtig waschen und trocknen. Stiele entfernen, dann vierteln oder halbieren.
  2. Den Feta aus der Lake nehmen und auf Küchenkrepp abtropfen lassen.
  3. Feta in Stücke schneiden.
  4. Auf einem Teller oder einer Platte, vorsichtig Feta und Erdbeeren mischen. Mit etwas Crema di Balsamico beträufeln. 
  5. Etwas schwarzen Pfeffer darüber mahlen, mit den Basilikumblättern ausgarnieren und dann sofort servieren. - Entweder als Vorspeise oder als Beilage zu Hähnchen oder Lammkoteletts servieren. Etwas frisches Brot als Beilage schmeckt auch immer.



If you have run out of or if your store does not carry, crema di balsamico, here is a recipe how to make some at home. A fun recipe to have on hand anytime you are looking to add a special touch to a dish.


Crema di Balsamico

Ingredients
  • 100 ml aceto balsamico
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 20 grams sugar
Preparation
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the aceto balsamico, water, and the sugar. 
  2. Bring to a boil. Then gently simmer until the liquid has cooked down to half or your preferred consistency.
  3. Let cool completely and pour into a sterilized glass jar or bottle and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Falls man gerade keine Crema di Balsamico zur Hand hat, oder falls man einfach mal selbst eine Crema herstellen möchte, kann man das folgende Rezept ausprobieren..

Crema di Balsamico

Zutaten
  • 100 ml Aceto Balsamico
  • 1 EL Wasser
  • 20 Gramm Zucker
Zubereitung
  1. In einen kleinen Topf den Aceto Balsamico, das Wasser und den Zucker geben.
  2. Zum Kochen bringen. Dann auf kleiner Flamme einkochen - zur Hälfte reduzieren oder bis die Crema die gewünschte Konsistenz erreicht hat.
  3. Abkühlen lassen. Dann in ein sterilisiertes Glas oder Flasche füllen und in den Kühlschrank aufbewahren.



Different types of feta can be called in to perk up couscous, salads, pizzas and pastas. Or you could try recipes for lamb chops with feta and lemon or a classic Greek salad. Feta is traditionally made from ewes’ milk or a mixture of ewes’ and goats’ milk but now sometimes made using cows’ milk. Feta is either preserved in brine or oil and has quite a salty flavor. You can buy feta pre-packed in most supermarkets and it is also widely available ready-cubed in jars of oil, often flavored with herbs and sun-dried tomatoes. Feta holds its shape quite well so it can be carefully skewered and grilled or barbecued. If you want to remove some of the saltiness of the feta cheese, just soak the cheese in milk or water for a couple of minutes prior to using in a recipe.
Man kann verschiedene Sorten Feta ausprobieren um Couscous, Salate, Pizzas and Pastagerichte geschmacklich abzurunden. Man kann auch wunderbare Lammkoteletts mit Zitrone und Feta zubereiten oder einen klassischen griechischen Salat. Feta wird entweder in Öl oder in Lake verkauft und hat meist eine recht salzige Note. Man kann Feta in den meisten Läden finden, entweder im Ganzen, oder stückig und schon in Öl und Kräutern oder mit sonnengetrockneten Tomaten eingelegt. Feta hat eine relativ feste Konsistenz und eignet sich deshalb auch sehr gut, um auf Spießen serviert oder gegrillt zu werden.Wenn man den salzigen Geschmack des Fetas etwas mildern möchte, kann man den Käse kurz vor der weiteren Verarbeitung für einige Minuten in etwas Milch oder Wasser einlegen.




It is always nice to be able to prepare food for the family using regional products and I can only recommend trying out new recipes using with what is available in your region. You might be surprised with the delicious results. This sheep´s milk feta, for example, has a wonderful mild and creamy taste, it is regional and organic – feel good all around…and the best part is that even the young taste testers were enamored with the combination of sweet strawberries, peppery basil, slightly salty and creamy feta and the sweet and tangy taste of the crema di balsamico.
Es ist immer schön, wenn man die Möglichkeit hat, regionale Produkte für die Zubereitung des Essens zu verwenden. Man entdeckt dabei wunderbare Produkte und probiert vielleicht Rezepte, die man normalerweise nicht so zubereitete hätte. Dieser Schafsmilchkäse zum Beispiel wird nach hauseigenem Rezept und unter Einhaltung der Biolandrichtlinien hergestellt. Nach Art des Fetas in Meersalzlake eingelegt, schmeckt er mild und cremig. Die Kombination aus süßen Erdbeeren, pfeffrigen Basilikum, mild-salzigem Schafskäse und der süß-salzigen Crema di Balsamico hat sogar die jüngsten Geschmackstester begeistert.




Feel free though to use your preferred type of feta for this salad or add some other salad greens such as arugula – the dish will certainly be just as delicious with your individual adaptations according to personal preference and to what is available in your neck of the woods.

For more information on the producer of the sheep´s milk cheese, please click here. For more information about the outdoor museum, please click here.
Natürlich kann man auch andere Sorten Feta für diese Vorspeise/Salat verwenden. Anstatt des Basilikums kann man auch gerne anderes Salatgrün wie zum Beispiel Rauke dazu geben – je nachdem was man selbst am liebsten geniesst.

Für mehr Informationen über den Hersteller des Schafsmilchkäses, bitte hier klicken.Zur Seite des Freilichtmuseums geht es hier.


26 comments:

  1. Hi Andrea, saw this on fb, and had to pop by for some more super-beautiful photos - and again, you deliver! It sounds like you not only had a delicious day out with the family but were also inspired. Going to make this for my mum at the weekend - we share similar tastes in salad.

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    1. Hester, thank you so much - it makes me happy to think that we share similar tastes in salad - this is a bit of a different kind of combination, yet utterly delicious - peppery basil, creamy sheep´s milk cheese and sweet strawberries make for a great salad - even the kids loved it!

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  2. I agree, it does feel good to be able to serve our families regional products. Especially when they enjoy them. What a beautiful salad Andrea, love this combination of flavors. Gorgeous pictures!

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    1. Cheri, thank you very much - regional products can be a real find and it is nice to buy them and enjoy them and support the manufactureres that put so much effort into them.The salad is a nice change to the usual salad fare and it makes for a very pretty appetizer as well.

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  3. What a great combination! I've never tried feat with strawberries, but I can imagine that both taste great together! Thanks for sharing the recipe :).

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    1. Thank you very much, the combination is indeed nice - certainly worth a try, at least once. Ripe strawberries are naturally sweet and so is the crema di basamico, the basil adds a peppery touch and the chesse is mildly salty and creamy - could not ask for more.

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  4. Just a lovely rendition of your visit to your outdoor museum. Those four sheep all have personalities of their own. This winter I took a cooking lesson from a gal who owns sheep and makes ice cream from their milk. It was delicious. Your salad looks so good. Those strawberries, wow. I have never heard of Crema di Balsamico before. Now I have the recipe!

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    1. Mary, we love visiting, lots of fresh air, farm animals, regional products, and, oh, those timber-framed houses and barns (I am a bit partila to them as you might have noticed) - the Crema di Balsamico recipe is really handy and delicious too - thanks for the lovely comment, dear friend!

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  5. I just did a little more research, Andrea, and then went to my pantry where I have a bottle of Crema di Balsamico - it was a gift!!!!!

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    1. ...then, dear Mary, you know which salad/appetizer you will be making soon...

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  6. What a fun day you must have had with your family. I'm sure the girls enjoyed the sheep and other interesting exhibits. I made a similar dish last summer on a bed of greens and agree about how nice the salty and sweet flavors are together. Love your photos!

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    1. Karen, these recipes are the best, aren´t they?! Mixing these ingredients is quite the taste experience. And, yes, the family had a wonderful time visting the museum and looking at all those cute sheep and other baby animals. Thank you for the kind comment!

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  7. The simplest recipes are so often the best, aren't they? Your strawberries and feta look like a perfect spring dish!

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    1. Beth, indeed quite a nice recipe - thank you!

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  8. Stunning pics, Andrea love. The pics of the sheep are beautiful and your plate is so lovely.
    Hope you've got a wonderful w/end in the works!
    BTW Just got my Cottage cookbook in the mail last nite. Gotta see what you've set up for us to cook. xo

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    1. Dear Colette, than a very warm "Welcome to the CCC"! Do not forget to grab that badge, dear and attach it to your page! We will enjoy having you cook along with us!

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  9. What beautiful photographs. Those sheep are glorious! When we go to the County Fair herein Los Angeles, I always love to go and look at the animals, especially the sheep. The rams with their horns are really something. Doesn't your cheese sound wonderful! How nice to have such high quality products from local suppliers. This salad looks absolutely delicious - perfect for summer. Well done!

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    1. Adri, I know how much you always stress the importance of getting good-quality and regional/local ingredients if posssible and I knew that you would enjoy this post - thank you so much for stoppig by and leaving such a kind comment!

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  10. Stunning.
    Gorgeous.
    I love clicking over into your cooking poetry! xx

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    1. Kim, you are such a wonderful person - I so enjoy all your fabulous comments!
      I hope that all is going well with the preparation for the Kay Memorial Walk - I certainly wish I could participate!
      All the best!

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  11. Andrea, dear friend - what an absolutely gorgeous post! Your photos are perfect, and the combination of the sheep's milk feta and strawberries sounds wonderful. I also love that you gave us a recipe for the crema di balsamico! I must try that, as we use it often on salads. I must try it on strawberries! Hoping you have a beautiful Sunday in Bonn! ~ David

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    1. Dear David, the recipe for cream di balsamico is fun and instead of buying a big bottle that never gets used up, why not make a bit for those lovely sweet summer strawberries, with or without cheese...thank you so much for the wonderful comment - now the weather is so nice, sunny, and warm around here that we could enjoy dinner outside yesterday.
      Bis bald, Andrea

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  12. I've never tried sheep´s milk cheese before, but it sounds delicious and I'd love to try the feta with strawberries! What a lovely combination that I never thought of! And beautiful photos make me happy.... :)

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    1. Nami, oh, there are a lot of different sheep´s milk cheeses around - they are healthy, have a wonderful taste and have a great texture. The girls enjoy them too - which is always a good thing.

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  13. Manche Schafskaesesorten sind so sahnig. Es klingt nach einer wunderbaren Kombination mit frischen, aromatischen Erdbeeren und Crema di Balsamico ist das I-tuepfelchen. Danke für diesen wunderbaren Vorschlag mit so tollen Fotos!

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    1. Liebe Wally, das macht mich glücklich, so etwas Nettes zu hören - lieben Dank. Die Kombination von cremigem Schafsmilchkäse, regionalen Erdbeeren und ein bisschen crema di balsamico ist wirklich ziemlich lecker.

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