Cooking Goetta and a Recipe for Goetta Grilled Cheese

Cooking Goetta

As promised, I’ve got some instructions on cooking goetta as well as a recipe in which goetta is the ingredient but not necessarily the star.

The key to cooking goetta is creating a crispy, but not burnt, exterior but without a mushy interior. I confess to being a bit of a neophyte, so you may have some goetta-tastic friends rolling their eyes at my instructions. Probably best to listen to them, not me!


You’ll need to cut up the goetta first into half-inch (1.25 cm) slices. I’m using some Glier’s goetta here.
Then you’ll need to heat up your pan. Ideally you’d like to start with a hot, non-stick pan, so a well seasoned cast iron pan would be ideal. I do not have that. Instead, I used a non-stick pan, which I don’t place on a burner while it’s empty. Thus for me, I use some oil (neutral oil, such as grapeseed). There are those who consider adding oil sacrilege, while others have no such qualms. I know this, because I asked Dr. Google (she knows everything). So, I do add oil.

Next, when the pan (with or without oil) is hot, I add the slices o’ goodness. Cook for a bit (say 2-5 minutes) over medium heat until one side is brown and crispy, but not burnt.FryingGoetta Flip and cook the second side; this will take less time (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and start with the next batch (adding a little oil if necessary). Repeat until you’ve cooked as much goetta as you want.


A Recipe for Goetta Grilled Cheese

Goetta is delicious on its own, breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. But goetta-as-ingredient is, as Martha Stewart would say, a Good Thing. So, I’m adding goetta to a grilled cheese sandwich here. This is delicious and simple. Ingredients are for one sandwich, so double if making two.

What You’ll Need

  • nonstick skillet or seasoned cast iron pan
  • box grater for shredding cheese (or food processor, if you are making multiple sandwiches)
  • knife for spreading butter
  • scale to weigh shredded cheese
  • board for assembling sandwich
  • spatula


  • 2 slices sturdy white sandwich bread, not the overly squishy variety, but some that has a bit of heft; do NOT substitute fancy country loaves—this is not the time to use your finest wood-fired artisan bread!

    THIS kind of bread, not your fancy schmancy loaves with the big, big, big holes.
    THIS kind of bread, not your fancy schmancy loaves with the big, big, big holes.
    Not this bread. NOT THIS BREAD!
    Not this bread. NOT THIS BREAD!
  • 1.5 oz 1 shredded Gruyere or Comte cheese (if unavailable, use a nutty Swiss cheese); this is about 1/3 to ½ cup
  • 0.5 oz shredded smoked Gouda cheese (about 2-3 tablespoons)
  • The Cheeses
    The Cheeses
  • unsalted butter, softened (there’s plenty of salt in the goetta and cheese, so do use unsalted if possible
  • 1-2 slices cooked goetta (2 slices of Glier’s works for me, but you might only need 1 slice from the rectangular Eckerlin’s or Mike’s loaves)
  • How to Make the Goetta Grilled Cheese Sandwich

    1. Read the recipe. Seriously. You don’t want to be half-way through, only to realize that you needed butter. Read through the recipe now.
    2. Assemble your ingredients. This is called mise en place, a French term for putting everything in place. Do this before you begin to cook ANYTHING.
    3. Okay, we are ready now. Butter ONE side of EACH piece of bread.
    4. Flip ONE bread slice over and place about 2/3 of the Gruyere on top of the unbuttered side.
    5. Place the cooked goetta on top of the Gruyere. You may have to chop a piece to fit onto the bread.
    6. Top the goetta with the rest of the Gruyere and add the smoked Gouda on top of it.
    7. The mostly assembled sandwich prior to cooking
      The mostly assembled sandwich prior to cooking
    8. Melt some butter in a nonstick skillet or seasoned cast iron pan over medium-low heat. You don’t want the heat too high, because you don’t want to burn the bread before the cheese melts. .
    9. MeltingButterinPan

    10. After melting the butter, place the sandwich in the pan, pressing down with a spatula.
    11. Cook until the bottom is crispy and golden brown, but not burnt.
    12. Carefully flip the sandwich over and cook until the second side is golden brown.
    13. GoldenBrown

    14. Remove from pan and eat.
    15. Sandwich1


    11 ounce/oz = 28.3 grams/g


A Memorial Day Grill Fest: Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Turkish Spices

The Unofficial Start to Summer

Across the country, not just the Flyover States, Memorial Day serves as the unofficial start to the summer season. Pools open and cookouts beckon. The grills get fired up (and yes, I too plan to partake of this). In that spirit, I am sharing with you a recipe I’ll be grilling today: Lamb Kebabs with Turkish Spices. But before I do that, I want to take a look at Memorial Day, the holiday, the one without the potato salad and 40%-off sales

From Whence It Came: Decoration Day

Memorial Day got its start as Decoration Day back in the mid-1800s (May 30, 1868, to be exact). It was designed to commemorate the war dead—people were asked to decorate the graves of soldiers who’d perished in the Civil War, which ended in 1865. Approximately 20 years later, the name changed to Memorial Day, but the commemoration remained the same.

In the ensuing years, Memorial Day, which was once celebrated on May 30 but is now the last Monday in May, became associated more with the start of summer fun than a way to honor those who lost their lives in conflict. While I see nothing wrong with enjoying friends and family, I do believe it is important to remember the real reason for the holiday—a way to recall those who made the ultimate sacrifice. So, sometime this weekend, think of them, whether at a service or just a silent pause.

Grilling—The Warm-Weather Cooking Technique Returns

Okay, I haven’t fired up the grill since October, but with warm, summertime temperatures having arrived, it’s time to break out the charcoal (yes, I’m a purist—no gas for this girl!) and start generating that live-fire mojo. One of my favorite things to grill is local lamb, in this case lamb from Russell Sheep Company of Eaton, Indiana. Diane Russell’s smiling face is one of my favorite sights on my weekly trip to Minnetrista Farmer’s Market Saturday mornings. Her lamb is delicious and it’s local! I’ll write about Russell Sheep Company some other time, so you’ll learn all about it. But one form of lamb she sells is kebab meat, which I use for the kebabs (and I’ve also used it for stews and curries). And to round out my menu today, I’ll grill some local asparagus as an accompaniment.

Lamb Kebabs with Turkish Spices

Serves 4

What You’ll Need

  • measuring spoons
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife
  • bowl
  • garlic press (optional)
  • plastic wrap
  • skewers


  • 1 lb. lamb leg or shoulder meat, cut into 1-in pieces
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
  • ¼ tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (omit if you don’t like spicy food)
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp ground sumac
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste

How To Make the Kebabs

Sorry, no pictures this time! I’ll add one after I grill them!

  1. In a bowl combine all ingredients except lamb. Taste for salt/pepper (add more if necessary)
  2. Pat lamb cubes dry and add to mixture in bowl. Toss to combine. Cover and place in refrigerator for about 4 hours
  3. Start a hot charcoal fire (direct high fire)—I said I was a charcoal purist!
  4. After coals have been started but before they are ready for grilling, remove lamb and thread onto 4 skewers (the flatter kind are best). When grill is ready, place skewers on grill and cook until a little charred (about 5-10 minutes). Turn occasionally to make sure that all sides get cooked
  5. Serve immediately.

And They Were Delicious!


Edited this post to show everyone my Memorial Day dinner!

Pork Chops with Sour Cherry-Red Wine Sauce

Makes 4 servings

Pork takes to fruit like nobody’s business. Pork with peaches, pork with apples, pork with pears. And now pork with tart cherries! And if you don’t eat meat, serve the sauce over baked tofu or over rice as a side dish.


A fine dinner!

What You’ll Need

  • chopping board and knife for onion
  • saucepan (1.5 or 2 quart)
  • baking sheet for chops
  • spoon for stirring
  • measuring cups and spoons


  • 4 bone-in pork chops, 3/4 to 1-inch thick
  • oil, salt, and pepper for chops
  • 1/2 large onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup stemmed and pitted sour cherries, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or crème fra&#238che1
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to Make the Pork Chops and Sauce

For the pork chops

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
  2. Pat chops dry, oil them, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn chops over and bake for another 10-15 minutes (start checking temperature at 20 minutes; it should be around 145°F (63°C) before you remove them from the oven.
  5. For the sauce (can be made in advance)

  6. While the pork is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft and translucent, but not browned, about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the chicken stock and sherry vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and reduce sauce by about half.
  8. Add the wine, bring to a boil again and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook until the sauce is reduced by half.
  9. Add the cherries (and any accumulated juices) and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and add the sour cream or crème fra&#238che, mixing it in thoroughly.
  11. Divide sauce evenly over the pork chops.
  12. If you make the sauce ahead of time, just reheat it over medium heat before spooning it over the pork chops.

    Don’t eat pork? You can substitute cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the pork.

    1Sour cream will curdle if you add it while it’s on the heat. That is not a problem with cr&#232me fra&#238che.


Mustard-Chive Pork Medallions

serves 3-4

Pork + Mustard + Chives = Easy, Delicious Dinner. There, that’s all the math you need to know. This is quick enough for a weeknight.

A variation of this recipe originally appeared in the October 2004 issue of Bon Appétit.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 skillets
  • 2 knives, one for cutting the pork and one for the herbs (or you can wash the first knife)
  • 2 cutting boards, one for the pork and one for the herbs
  • wooden spoon
  • whisk


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 leek, cleaned and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (light green and white parts)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine (dry, not sweet), plus a little extra
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or put through a press
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1.5 Tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
  • 1 pork tenderloin, 1 to 1.5 lbs
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, optional
  • salt
  • pepper

How to Make Mustard-Chive Pork Medallions

  1. Trim the pork of excess fat and silverskin. Cut off the tapered ends of the tenderloin and slice it crosswise into 1-inch thick pieces (about 8-10; don’t worry if they aren’t exactly that dimension–it’s cooking and things aren’t always exact!) Reserve the ends for some other use.
  2. MustardPorkMedallions

  3. Over medium heat, melt half of the butter and olive oil in a skillet large enough to hold the leeks (which you will add next). When the butter is melted, add the leeks and cook for about 5 minutes, until they are cooked through and turning golden. Stir the leeks throughout the cooking process.
  4. MustardPorkCookingLeeks

  5. Add the chicken stock, wine, and garlic to the skillet. Mix together and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by about 1/3.
  6. Season pork piece on both sides with salt and pepper.
  7. Melt the rest of the butter with the olive oil in another skillet over medium-high heat.
  8. Remove the skillet with the leeks from the heat and add the sour cream and mustard, whisking together with the leeks. Set aside.
  9. Add the pork pieces to the second skillet. Brown on each side, about 4-8 minutes. Remove the pork to a plate.
  10. MustardPorkBrownMedallions

  11. Deglaze the skillet in which you cooked the pork with a little wine and a wooden spoon. Be sure to get the browned bits from the pork–there is a LOT of flavor there! You may need to scrape the bottom of the skillet to incorporate browned bits. Be sure to do this.
  12. Add the deglazed skillet contents to the pan with the leek mixture.
  13. Cook for a minute or two, letting the sauce thicken a little bit. Add the chives, mix, and taste for seasoning, adding salt and/or pepper if needed.
  14. MustardPorkSauce

  15. Add the reserved pork pieces to the skillet and cook until they are heated through, about a minute or two.
  16. Top with the parsley, if using, and serve warm.



Carlson’s—Smokin’ Good!

I am about to eat the last of the smoked lake trout I purchased at Carlson’s Fishery while on vacation in northern Michigan. This makes me sad. Very sad. Because it’s very good.

Carlson’s was founded by Norwegian immigrant Nels Carlson several generations ago (a fifth-generation Carlson is now at the helm). Located in historic Fishtown, the old fisheries center of Leland, Michigan (on the Leelanau Peninsula), Carlson’s can turn the day’s lake catch into smoked delicacies, including a spicy hot smoked whitefish sausage. They also sell (naturally!) fresh fish, such as whitefish and trout. But, as I have a predilection for All Things Smoked, it was the smoked fish that I had to buy and transport home to Indiana. They also produce a fine smoked fish pate, the sort of thing I’d spread on a few crackers until I realized that I could get a strong fish buzz if I eliminated the flour platform and just ate the pate with a spoon.


If I lived close to Carlson’s, I’d probably develop fins and gills from eating so much fish!

Smoked fish can serve as the focal point of appetizers or, if you eat enough of them, a meal. I like to combine seasoned cream cheese, cucumbers, and smoked fish two ways—as rounds or stuffed. Instructions found below.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cucumber, peeled if desired
  • 3-4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do

  1. Mix the cream cheese with some onion powder and garlic powder (to your own taste). Add salt and pepper if desired.
  2. Slice the cucumber into rounds or halve it and scrape out the seeds.
  3. If using rounds, spread some of the cream cheese mixture onto each cucumber slice. If using hollowed halves, stuff each half of the cucumber with half of the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Top each round or cucumber half with smoked trout.
  5. Eat and enjoy!
    1. SmokedTroutWithCucumber
      Lunch–The Musical!

      Anyway, should you someday find yourself in Leland with a cooler, be sure to stop by Carlson’s and load up on some fine fish. And, if you’re buy the fresh fish, cooking it on the grill is pretty simple. My next post will feature a recipe for simple packet-grilled whitefish.