Saturday, May 9, 2015

Homemade German

I've taken quite the break from rating recipes. Between the 100 Days of Real Food flop, writing about all the eats in Chicago, and cooking/blogging my way through The Pioneer Woman Cooks, rating recipes sat on the back burner.

Since I rejoined the working world from my momentary unemployment, I haven't been able to cook as many gourmet meals as filled the summer and fall of 2014. We still enjoy the occasional fresh loaf of bread and a few staples that I have been able to perfect. However, at most, we experience one new dish per week.*

*As I made my menu for this month I decided this simply would not do. 

Another issue I have been facing, aside from now working and having a Hubby who works nonstop, is the want to give my blogs a face lift. Without saying too much more, I have been spending more of my time in contemplation about a way to combine my blogs rather than actually writing on my blogs.

Alright, confession time is over.

As was discovered during our trip to Chicago, Hubby has recently been embracing his German heritage. For months, I received subtle then not so subtle hints that he wanted me to explore cooking authentic German meals. Today I bring you not one, but two of what I consider to be the most traditional German meals.

Up first: Bratwurst 


Recipe: Beer-Simmered Bratwurst
Source: Food Network
Time: 45 minutes
Ease: 1
Taste: 10
Leftover Value: No leftovers! 
Down the Drain or Keep in the Strainer: Keep it in the Strainer!

I'm going to admit something that makes many question my own Italian heritage.

I don't go gaga over sausage.

There, I said it.

This doesn't mean I don't eat sausage. I do. I have even had my moments of drooling over a particularly impressive link; however I have also had many moments of 'Eh, this is just okay, I’m not sure I’ll finish it'. 

When I searched for a bratwurst recipe, I knew I wanted something that would be full of flavor. Who could offer a more flavorful recipe than Bobby Flay, the King of Flavor? Even using a Flay recipe, as I made the bratwurst I prepared myself for the let down that sausage often is to me. This is possibly why I readied some gorgeous rainbow carrots and salt and vinegar potatoes (instead of traditional mash) as sides.


The process of making the bangers was unlike any I have ever used to make sausage before, so I put a lot of faith and hope into the accuracy of the recipe. The bratwurst is simmered with seasonings and beer for five minutes. After five minutes, the pot is removed from the heat and the bratwurst continues to sit in the liquid for thirty more minutes.

I was a little confused about whether or not anything could be done with the liquid after this point.

After a little trial and error, I think no.

When the thirty minutes is up, the sausages are grilled for 4-6 minutes per side. I did this in the broiler and it worked just fine.

I used generic bratwurst that I purchased at my local supermarket, so I’m definitely chalking up the texture and flavors created within the bratwurst to Bobby Flay’s intriguing recipe.

Even better, it was incredibly simple, something I have been seeking more often these days in recipes.

In fact, both of these German recipes were surprisingly simple. Up next is a German meal so popular, it made it into a song.

“Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles”.

Have you guessed it yet?


Recipe: Wiener Schnitzel
Source: Bon Appetit
Time: 30 minutes
Ease: 3
Taste: 4
Leftover Value:
Down the Drain or Keep in the Strainer: Down the Drain.

I read the recipe about a dozen times before allowing myself to come to the conclusion that wiener schnitzel is breaded essentially the same as chicken Parmesan. The difference lies in the way it is cooked.

Ever order chicken at a restaurant and the breading bubbles and becomes like a sheet spread around the chicken rather than a crumbly mixture?
This is achieved in the strangest of ways. The veal is placed in a heated, greased skillet and basted with hot oil heated in a separate pot.

While it was an educational process, the flavor of the schnitzel was pretty bland. I served it with a classic butter egg noodle, but was searching the entire time for richer more complex flavors.

I don’t think I have completely satisfied Hubby’s craving for food of his ancestors. It wasn’t much longer after I had made these two meals that he then mentioned he wants me to make German potato salad.

Good thing summer is almost here.