Donnerstag, 3. November 2011

Tree Frogs

Today I cooked so called "tree frogs".
Before somebody gets sick: I didn't cook little jumping guys. Tree frogs, in german "Laubfrösche", are chard leaves filled with minced meat - just think cabbage rolls. They got there name because of the really bright green colour of boiled chard.

I bought chard on an organic farmers market. They sold the usual deep green chard with white stems and chards with yellow and red stems and purple leaves. Of cause I choosed the funky purple.
I also bought fresh mushrooms and deep red, orange and yellow carrots, hot red radishes (think daikon but a little bit smaller and red) and winter purslane. A feast for the eyes.

frog cut open..
Miracles happen: Purple chard leaves turned dark greenish! But this doesn't really matter.

For the frogs you need:
200 g ground meat (pork and beef)
2 chards, leaves only, stems cut out.
100 g button mushrooms, diced
1 onion, diced in small dices
1 egg
1 german bread roll or slice of white bread, soaked in water, crumbled and squeezed dry
1 pinch nugmet
1 teaspoon sweet paprika (paprika is made of mild dried hungarian chilli peppers)
1 garlic glove, minced
2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped

Tomatoe sauce:
1 can tomatoe chunks
150 g button mushrooms, sliced 
1 tablespoon tomatoe paste
1 laurel leaf
1 teaspoon sugar
50 ml cream
Olive oil

First I cooked a tomatoe sauce base:
Melt minced onion  in olive oil. Add tomatoe paste and roast a little. Add sugar and melt this too. Add tomatoe chunks with juice, salt, pepper, chilli, laurel leaf and let simmer until the sauce is a little thicker. Just a simple tomatoe sugo. At least add the sliced mushrooms.

Meanwhile I boiled a lot of water with a pinch of salt and let the chard leaves take a short hot bath until they became soft. I let them strain and patted them dry with kitchen paper towels.

I heated a little olive oil in a pan and roasted the onion dices until glossy, followed by the mushroom dices. I simmered the mushrooms until done and all juices are gone.
Afterwards I mixed by hand: meat, egg, soaked and squeezed bread, parsley, cooled down diced mushrooms with onion, paprika, pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, good pinch of nutmeg (think hamburger paddies).

I wrapped 1 1/2 tablespoons meat mixture in each one chard leaf until gone. Beginning at the end where the stems had been cut out in triangle shape. I put these ends together, placed the meat on top and rolled up the leaf while forming a ball - side parts of the leaves always folded in. Than I placed the balls in the tomatoe sugo (was cooked in a bigger pan with lid) ends down. I simmered the frogs on medium low heat about 25 min. Meanwhile I cooked small peeled potatoes in salted  water.
At the end of the frog cooking time I added the cream to the sugo and only heated it a little (cream can be skipped for diet reasons).
Side dish: red radish and winter purslane salad with a vinaigrette (mustard, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt pepper)


Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Tree frogs, Laubfrösche, chard leaves..., it's fun learning new things from your blog!

Sissi hat gesagt…

What a wonderful name! I as hoping for a moment Germans were also fans of frogs ;-)
It looks delicious!

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Hiroyuki: I am glad this was something new to you.
Sissi: Actually I don't have problems with eating frog but I like the little green fellows. Sadly the one pond frog we had in our small fish pond died last year. We don't know wether a grey heron killed him. He is the deliquent who is eating up most of our big fishes and maybe he stabbed the frog. The frog floated upside down in the water. Had some very delicious bull frog in Beijing.