WHAT’S COOKIN’: In the kitchen with Oskar Hallig

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By Wednesday, Dec 7 Farm and Table
Laurily Epstein
Ingredients for a 'roulade,' one of Oskar Hallig's favorite recipes, made from flank steak, onions, pickles, Monterey Chèvre, red peppers and spinach.

South Egremont — “Only in Your Dreams” is the evocative name of Oskar Hallig’s event planning business. And when you meet Oskar, you’ll intuit the exuberance evoked in his company’s name. While living in Germany in the early 2000s, he became addicted to cooking shows, and gradually came to realize that entertaining was what he really liked. And thus “Only in Your Dreams” was born.

Prior to launching his event planning business, Hallig worked at Iredale Minerals. Now, in his “free time,” he teaches business courses at BCC. He just learned that he has been assigned five courses in the coming semester, hardly just a “part-time” job.

Oskar Hallig, in his South Egremont kitchen, preparing the roulade. Photo: Laurily Epstein

Oskar Hallig, in his South Egremont kitchen, pounding the flank steak flat for his roulade. (See recipe below.) Photo: Laurily Epstein

Additionally, Hallig oversees Berkshire Theatre Group’s external gatherings, such as weddings, funerals, memorials, and other large events. Organizing his own marriage to Mike Zippel in October 2012 was his start in that type of celebration.

Hallig is active in the Great Barrington Rotary, and chairs their Breaking Bread committee, which sponsors community dinners several times a year. He also works with Railroad Street Youth Project, and oversaw their annual dinner this past Monday.

His favorite aspect of event planning is working with the nonprofit world. “My heart is in the nonprofit world,” he says, not surprising given that his mother, Bobbie Hallig, is one of the most generous charitable donors in Berkshire County.

When he cooks, Hallig likes anything that is roasted, particularly “big birds.”

“I’m an oven cooker, rather than a stovetop cooker,” he says.

His recipe for this article is “Roulade,” a dish he saw made on a televised cooking show in Germany. He recreated it for friends, and since then it has become a favorite. When you taste it, you’ll know why.

Roulade
The flank steak topped with peppers, chèvre, spinach, onions.

The flank steak topped with peppers, chèvre, spinach, onions.

2 pounds flank steak

2 roasted red peppers, sliced

6 baby dill pickles, sliced

1 onion, sliced into long pieces

8 ounces spinach

12 oz. cream cheese

Mustard

Salt and pepper

Garlic powder

Directions:

Cut onions into long slices and sauté in olive oil.

Once onions are tender, add spinach and cook down, and then put aside onions/spinach mixture.

The flank steak folder, ready for baking.

The flank steak folded, ready for roasting. Photo: Laurily Epstein

Tenderize flank stake by hammering it as flat as possible.

Generously put salt, pepper, and garlic powder on open side of flank steak.

Spread mustard on open side of flank steak, covering entire surface.

Spread cream cheese on entire flank steak (Monterey Chèvre is an excellent substitute for cream cheese in season) on entire flank steak.

Put sliced pickles, sliced roasted peppers, onions, and spinach about 2 inches from one side of steak, leaving at least ½ of the steak free of ingredients.

Roll flank steak starting with the 2-inch side and tie tightly with kitchen twine.

The roasted roulade, removed from the oven.

The roasted roulade, removed from the oven.

Put into roasting pan and cook at 400 degrees for 45 minutes in a pre-heated oven.

Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting 3- to 4-inch servings.

A simple salad is the perfect accompaniment to the roulade. A hearty red wine goes well with the dish.


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