This week found two of the four Brovskys in the process of moving. It also found us about a week away from Christmas!! Someplace extra magical this time of year is Colorado in the wintertime. It’s amazing how it’s warm one day and then completely snowy and cold and you know what they say about “Jack Frost nipping at your nose…”. So it’s a nice break to have when we get to gather around the table and have an adventure to a far off land. What an excellent way to travel without leaving your sweatpants, puppy and Bronco’s football behind 😉
THE DINNER: Luxembourg’s position is a culinary wonderland. It sits in the best possible spot to absorb all means of cultural and culinary influence from Germanic and Latin nations. The pastries of Luxembourg reflect its neighboring relationship with Franc, however as in Germany and Italy, traditional everyday fare is centralized on the peasant influence and are typically very hearty and simple. The nation is tiny but is greatly endowed with typical farming meats available in addition to river fishes (pike, trout, crayfish…) due to its natural resources.
You can’t really get more down to earth, working class than chicken. So we picked a traditional Luxembourgian dish: Hong am Rèisleck (Chicken in Riesling) served over egg noodles for our meal this weekend. If there’s something I love more than egg noodles, it’s wine; so bathing my meat in wine sauce and serving it over egg noodles is pretty much this Brovsky’s definition of heaven (if you recall our October journey to Russia…). It was simple, which is what you’d expect from a peasant based dish for all accounts. The ingredients weren’t exotic, which again is a great change of pace with the busiest time of year swirling all around us. The dish had notes of everything you’d expect given what I’ve told you about Luxembourg being a melting pot– French influence in the Cognac and Riesling and of course BUTTER; German influence in the dumplings/egg noodles; Italian influence in its simplicity and in the cream base which is a kin to a béchamel sauce which for those paying attention like I was, is both French and Italian in origin. Hooray for the De’ Medici Family for giving us the creamy and succulent nirvana that is béchamel. Amen.
OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:
Ease of prep and cooking: ONE and A HALF STARS out of five this Dinner.
It really doesn’t get much more simple than chicken over noodles, which is something we were on the hunt for after last week’s Italian birthday bonanza. So it was nice to know that this recipe delivered on all fronts. I must give it maybe a half star higher for difficulty as you are dealing with cream sauce and this, if scorched, or left neglected will taste horrific and sad and generally ruin your life. I realize this sounds melodramatic, but friends, for the love of all things cream based, pay attention and take your time. Rushing will cause cream based dishes to fall apart in front of you, plus this one had the added difficulty of an egg yolk to temper in. If you rush that, you’ll end up with breakfast and not dinner. You have been warned.
Best dish of all time scale: FOUR & HALF stars for Dinner.
We loved it. It was a solid meal. Trust me when I tell you that we were not anticipating something earth shattering or grandiose… I mean, Chicken in Riesling over egg noodles doesn’t sound like a culinary page turner, but it was amazing. It was delightful and a lot lighter fare than I was expecting. All that being said, I am reminded of so many countries that we have done so far that were good meals, but nothing to write home about; and Luxembourg can now join those ranks. It was a solid four and a half stars out of five, and that’s based on some pretty spectacular meals we’ve enjoyed so far on this journey that is a very respectable place to be. I don’t think that four and a half stars in those terms is anything short of wonderful.
Next week we BACK to Italy, but with a twist! We will be hitting the world’s smallest nation: Vatican City! As it will be Christmas and we decided that we would pay homage to out Catholic roots, by eating like the Pope and Swiss Guard next weekend… and let me tell you, it should be nothing if not heavenly. Pun intended.
Save room for sugar cookies and coco!!
– L & K