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..|
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 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
1 can tomatoe chunks
150 g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon tomatoe paste
1 laurel leaf
1 teaspoon sugar
50 ml cream
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)