Good news, errbody: Luxembourgers apparenly love putting bacon on their food.
Actually, I would have to vet that with a true Luxembourger. But of the five recipes I chose for dinner, three required decent portions of bacon.
I changed the lineup of dishes to omit the potato with wine and cheese casserole and allow for a zucchini pasta.
To initiate the cultural stuffing-of-the-faces, dad played Luxembourg’s national anthem, which either sounds like a piece in the repertoire of the Nuremberg Rallies or an American university’s alma mater.
First on the menu: Bouneschlupp, or Green Bean Soup. (Recipe courtesy of Sasha Martin at Global Table Adventure)
Bouneschlupp, or at least the version I made, is soup with onions, celery, green beans, leek and potatoes. To add a bit of protein and taste to the vegetables, the soup is topped with bits of bacon and slices of mettwurst or German sausage. I found neither type of sausage at Joe Caputo’s, so I substituted it with Polish sausage.
The celery was a substitute for something called celeriac. “What the f@#$,” I said as I read the recipe, “is that!?”
I opted to stick with the familiar celery.
Numero duos on the Lux menu? Sauerkraut patties, which were probably my favorite.
The Sauerkraut patties have all sorts of goodies inside, the best of which include bacon, Sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. For the full recipe, visit Yummly.com and checkout Chef Bluemoon Downunder’s page of ingredients.
After the soup and the potato, I thought incorporating a sweeter dish might keep the family’s taste buds enticed and arteries clogged. So I made fried bananas soaked in white wine and honey and sprinkled with raw almond slices.
These were a treat. The bananas softened to the texture of Gerber’s banana baby food. It was a nice mid-meal dessert dish, which I found on the website that helped me generate the list of Luxembourg dishes: worldcook.net. Here’s the fried banana recipe.
By this point in the food orgy, everyone’s guts were already bursting, and I hadn’t even introduced the next two dishes: pasta and, of course, dessert.
For the pasta, I made penne pasta with bacon, mushrooms, zucchini and a cream and Parmesan cheese sauce.
Let’s get a close up on that bacon.
Although this idea deviates from the original Luxembourg recipe, this pasta would be great with some non-bacon meat, such as chicken or crab. The sauce, though homemade, was super easy to create and better than anything out of a can. If I made it again, I would alter the recipe to thicken the sauce.
If my family wasn’t already feeling like a bunch of fatties, the last dish on the list would certainly require belt unbuckling and collective promises to drive to the gym later.
As a dessert, I made Pinot Noir Chocolate Cake, using Ghirardelli’s 70 percent extra bittersweet baking cacao and some cheap-ass Pinot Noir from CostCo’s.
My mom and I put the creamy cake mix into small, Pyrex-glass cups that could stand the 350-degree heat required to bake the dessert. The cake comes out like chocolate mousse, but the bittersweet chocolate made it taste dry at the same time it felt moist. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some raspberries, powdered sugar and a tall glass of milk, this dessert is the perfect way to end a Luxembourg meal and also gain 10 pounds.
To negate the Luxembourgish calories added to my waistline, I drove to the gym and walked on the treadmill for at least an hour while reading Do Not Ask What Good We Do, a book that details the plethora of reasons why the 112th Congress is a friggin’ mess.
Thanks to madre for expediting the vegetable-slicing, bacon-frying and Polish sausage-making processes.