Andreas is smart and funny (in that dry German way) and he completely geeks out on food, from preparing to consuming to talking about it. No wonder I have a foodie crush on him! We met at work, although Andreas is based in Stuttgart so I am not blessed daily with his tall beardy awesomeness. Prolly a good thing, because while we go together like mussels and chorizo, at the same time we would drive each other positively crazy.
We tried to do the interview via Slack, but as you can read below, our conversation did not go down too well, especially when it came to Beyoncé.
First attempt at interview did not go well.
Andreas in the Kitchen!
Andreas! How did you become the family cook? My wife is not as crazy about cooking as I am. She’ll cook because she likes to eat healthy. I cook because it relaxes me, and I enjoy it. I like to cook with my kids.
Through cooking together, I’m equipping my kids with a basic life skill after all. When you’re comfortable in the kitchen, you can pull together a few ingredients to make a simple meal. When my kids participate in the creation of our meal, the likelihood of them eating the food we’ve cooked is higher too :-)
And you know, I go to the Turkish butcher to get meat, right? Once when my son was with me in the shop, the butcher took a whole intact head of lamb, placed on it on the counter, and with a large butcher’s knife, hacked it into smaller pieces. All this happened in front of my son. I could see him looking at me, looking for cues.
What could I do? I shrugged. Meat comes from animals, from parts of animals, and often by the time the dish arrives at the table, it no longer resembles the animal and the life it came from. My son saw that I was totally relaxed watching the butcher chop the lamb head, and he continued observing the goings-on of the butcher shop.
When my son was two, I made grilled fish for the first time. He called it “the chicken with eyes”. Oh, he ate it all right but then it got metaphysical: I had to explain what death was, that this fish was killed so that we could consume it.
People have become disconnected from the animal. I’m the nose to tail guy. If we are killing animals, we should eat the whole animal. It’s the better way to honour the animal that was killed. Each part of the animal was a part of life, whether the tongue or liver or chuck. None of this industrial process of factory grown animals, of taking the wings, breast and thighs and discarding the rest into “waste meat”, which gets fed into other farmed animals.
Are your kids picky eaters? Kids take cues from their parents. Yeah, there’s probably correlation between picky eater parents and their picky eater kids. Some things, like beer, are an acquired taste, though!
What are your favourite flavour combinations? Most of the time I like balanced food: a bit of spicy, salty, tart, sweet. Texture plays into it as well. I don’t only think of flavour combinations, but the overall composition. If you really insist on flavour combinations, here are my three selections:
- Parsley, garlic, lemon.
- Chorizo and tomato (which is really pimenton and tomato).
- White miso, carrot and ginger: as a salad dressing, as a general paste, for fish.
I don’t make much sweet stuff because my wife and I always get into
arguments discussions about how much sweets our kids should have.
*we began talking about fruits at some point because I was eating oranges in the hopes of absorbing Vitamin C and avoid catching the flu that everyone in Stuttgart seemed to have* Fruits in Europe can be so boring: apples, bananas, pears, oranges. Seasonal fruits are better; summer berries flavours really shine! I’m more the tropical fruit kind of guy. Papayas are my favourite fruit.
When I was traveling in Brazil, I discovered this amazing thing called Crema de Papaya. Equal parts fresh ripe papaya slices and vanilla ice cream. Blitz in blender. Then pour crème de cassis on top. I consumed copious amounts of it.
Thank you, Andreas!
Connect with Andreas via his LinkedIn.
Andreas’ mussels chorizo
So easy. So fast. So good. This dish is great for serving to crowds of hungry friends. I used my Dutch oven for this, since it involves steaming the mussels later on; however, any flat-bottomed pot with a lid will work.
What you need for 3
greedy hungry people
- Around a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
- Garlic, to taste: Andreas says to do it any way you like, so I smashed a whole head of garlic and tossed it in.
- Around 300g/2 whole fresh chorizo, sliced into rounds: get the best quality you can, with nice fatty bits.
- 20 cherry tomatoes, cleaned and halved.
- Around 1 kilo of fresh mussels, shells cleaned.
- A cup of dry white wine, optional.
- Two handfuls of chopped flat-leaved parsley.
- A loaf of crusty white bread: baguettes are best, but ciabatta works too.
Everything in the Dutch oven
Heat the garlic together with the chorizo rounds. Start with a cold pan, over low fire, because this allows the chorizo fat to render slowly and you end up with a nice oily coat. After 3 minutes or so, when the garlic has softened, I add a dash, or two of olive oil. The addition of oil fries the chorizo and it gets crispy edges. Add the cherry tomatoes.
Stir gently as the tomatoes soften, don’t crush them, just let them release their juicy goodness. Turn up the fire a bit. If you’re using dry white wine, toss them in now. Then add the mussels, stir to coat, close the lid and steam for 7-9 minutes or until the mussels pop open.
Toss in the parsley, stir again then serve with crusty white bread. I loved mopping up the delicious sauce with my bread slices.
- If you’re crazy about pimenton, feel free to add that to the chorizo and tomatoes mix.
- If you like your chorizo fried, add the olive oil at the start so you’re essentially shallow-frying the chorizo to get those crispy edges.
- I used half a cup of dry white wine, just to add flavour; I don’t like my sauce too watery.
- Also, I tossed in fresh uncooked cherry tomatoes at the last minute before serving.
I’m with the one I love AKA happy end of Sunday
On Saturday I lost my head at Frische Paradies and ended up with 3+ kilos of mussels, 1+ kilo of fresh chorizo, craft beer and a whole bunch of other “essentials”, so we threw mussels chorizo parties with friends on both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Warm crusty bread, mussels chorizo that’s just straight up moreish, easy conversations with good friends, great wine, craft beer, chased by palate-cleansing lemon sorbet, I’m with the one I love.
On Sunday night we still had leftovers of the mussels chorizo from lunch so I made some spaghetti and threw that all into the pot. We had just enough of the garlicky fatty chorizo sauce to coat the pasta nicely, and a few plump mussels to top it all off. I’m still glowing from the mussels chorizo goodness! Even Carsten said he could see me glowing from where he was in Southern Germany ;-)
Thanks for reading! See you in the next one!