Ok, now I have been living in the Basel area for four years. Enough time to know my way around, you might think. Enough time to know how to read quite a bit of German, well, at least food German, the important stuff, right?
Or…not. Ah the experience of being an expat is rife with opportunities to be humbled, again and again. This one turned out pretty well though. ;-)
I have a habit of buying things on sale. It is one way I have adjusted to the prices of Switzerland. When I was overwhelmed by the choices of cheese, I began to just buy what was on “aktion” for the week. That with some trial and error is how I learned what I like and what I don’t. As it happens I love almost every cheese there is. Great for someone living in Switzerland, if not for her hips and backside!
The same process for meat. Part of my adjustment to cooking in Switzerland was getting accustomed to a smaller refrigerator. This means shopping more often. and I found that if I shop toward the end of the day I can buy the meat that is on sale, and cook it that night. Brilliant.
That is just what I did recently. I saw some ground beef on sale and bought it. My husband volunteered to cook it, and when he picked it up he said, hmmm, this feels like a brick. ? Huh? ? Okaaay….then upon opening he declared that he thought it was a meatloaf.
He crumbled it and I came and added the Mexican style spices to prepare it for my dish. Thank goodness I tasted it before adding salt – sure enough - it was a meatloaf. How clueless am I? I know the term “Hackfleisch” for ground beef, and honestly I don’t know if the package said it or not. I think I just saw it on sale, saw it looked like beef, and into my basket it went.
Good news is that it turned out to be great for the “Mexican Lasagna” that I made. I guess I was lucky this time. :-)
Does anyone else have these crazy stories about buying something that turns out to be not what you thought? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below(if just to know I am not alone!).
And meanwhile, here are some pix of my Mexican Lasagna. Which by the way isn’t Mexican and isn’t Lasagna, but someone’s casserolesation (to take anything and make into a casserole) of some vaguely Mexican ingredients that we love. Must be an American thing…
Basically, you spice up your ground beef (or perhaps meatloaf?) with cumin, salsa, adobo, etc., add some beans if you like, then layer in a casserole with cottage cheese, mozzarella or cheddar, and tortillas. Repeat layers till dish is filled, ending with mozzarella or cheddar cheese. Cook in a 200 C oven (390 F) for about 25 minutes, then let rest for 10 before serving.
Serve with guacamole and yum! Really hits the spot on a chilly fall night.
Oh, and notice that funny last picture? Those are the leftovers in our big fridge. The one that only works when the chilly fall weather comes? (Some might call it a balcony) That is where we cool things down until we make room in the mini fridge. In the winter it doubles as our back up fridge or freezer, depending…
All part of the adventure of cooking in a foreign land. ;-) Happy cooking adventures to you, wherever you are!