I guess food posts around here have become a bit heavy on the sweet side lately. Although in every day life of course I cook way more savoury dishes than sweet ones. So why is it? There are a lot of extensively tested and approved recipes, delicious, healthy (mostly), perfected and variated, but they haven’t found their way on this blog. I’m withholding them, something always detains me from posting them. Not special enough, no exceptional ingredient, unspectacular look … not worth enough. But hey, why are the daily pleasures, something that tastes good, makes me feel good isn’t worth appearing on this blog, on my blog?! This is my first resolution for the new year: Stand up against this stupid self-censorship.
This kumpir finally made me take out the camera, cause it’s my kind of dish. An everyday dish – jacket potatoes – but with a twist: After baking, the potato flesh is mixed inside the (now crisp) potato skin with butter and cheese into a creamy mash (for the technique I recommend to watch this video), and then topped with … anything you like: Salads, pickles, roasted veggies, sauces,… it’s all up to you and your daily mood. Popular on Istanbul’s streets it has found its way to Berlin’s hip food scene and you can understand why: It’s healthy street food, open for all sorts of cross-culinary variation, easy to be prepared vegetarian or vegan. For example with cabbage slaw, muhammara and sour cream like I did here.
The interesting – and somehow symbolic – thing about kumpir: This foreign dish – for some people: hip and exotic, for others: frightening, cause potentially eliminating German food – isn’t that foreign at all. The word kumpir has probably originated from the German Grumbeere or Grombiera (potatoes in Palatinate/Swabian dialect), was brought to the Balkans by Swabian settlers, from where it made its way into Turkey … and now back into Berlin, where “Prenzlschwaben” enjoy them 😀
(Food) culture has always be exchange, purity or originality (now the historian is speaking) has always be a myth.
Kumpir (2 p.)
2 large floury potatoes at 400 g (or 4 smaller ones), about 4 tablespoons grated Kaşar cheese (or medium aged gouda), about 4 teaspoons butter, salt, pepper
- red cabbage slaw (see below)
- Muhammara (see below)
- sour cream
- chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 220° C. Wash potatoes, prick with a fork all around and rub with salt. Place in a baking pan and bake for about 1 hour total. Turn around and brush with olive oil after 30 minutes. Check doneness after 1 hour, eventually bake a bit longer.
Take potatoes off the oven. Cut lengthwise, but don’t cut through. Press softly to open the potatoes. Mash potato with a knife or fork inside the skin. Add butter and cheese and keep mashing until everything combines to a creamy texture. Add salt and pepper. Fill/top with cabbage slaw, muhammara, sour cream, parsley and olives… or your other favourite ingredients.
Red cabbage slaw
200 g red cabbage (¼ cabbage), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper
To prepare this slaw, I deeply recommend to use kitchen gloves. Thinly slice cabbage. In a medium bowl add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to the cabbage. Massage the cabbage with your hand for a few minutes. Set aside. This slaw can be prepared in advance, in fact, it’s best on the second day.
1 red pepper, ½ teaspoon cumin, 2 tablespoon chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoon breadcrumbs, ½ garlic clove, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper
Preheat oven to 220° C. Wash, halfen and core pepper. Press flat and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until the skin has burnt. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic foil or lid. After 10 minutes the skin has become soft and can easily be peeled off. In a mortar (alternatively: use blender) grind all ingredients into a fairly smooth paste. Season to taste. You can prepare this sauce in advance and keep in the fridge for a few days. Use it at room temperature.