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Bringing Americanized Deutschland to the table

HerNameIsBuffy

2,274 views

Today was the birthday of one of the Messers Mini-Buffy.  On their birthdays, like death row inmates, they can have anything they want for their meal.  He didn't want to go out - my boy wanted Jäger schnitzel.  Which made me happy.

These are the foods of my childhood...my dad could cook like a boss.  He was born in Germany so for me nutmeg in savory dishes is taste of home. Comfort food.  It's family.

But this meal wouldn't be in any heart smart cookbook...we do eat much lighter most of the time but birthday are a time for decadence so there no low fat anything in the dishes below.

Entree:

Jäger schnitzel.  Schnitzel is a breaded cutlet of some kind - typically pounded flat first.  It's the German version of chicken fried steak but not steak.  In this instance it's pork.  While I can schnitzel anything the Jager refers to the particular mushroom sauce.  There are significant variations of the sauce but mine is the only one I consider correct because I have a very narrow world view.

I start with pork cutlets and pound them with a tenderizer.  Mine are not very flat...if I want the big guns I get Mr. Buffy to do the hammering.  Whlst i complain about how loud he is.  Doing something I asked him to do.  I'm not a reasonable woman but fortunately he decided to find this cute.

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In frying pans I have butter and a splash of olive oil which ups the burn point.  You want the oil quite hot when the meat hits the metal so it gets that lovely brown crisp on the breeding.  If the oil isn't hot enough the oil soaks in without crisping and no one wants a greasy schnitzel.

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Before the schnitzel hits the pan, they get a bath in whisked eggs, dunked in flour (seasoned with salt, pepper, and nutmeg), back into the egg, then coated in breadcrumbs.  They cook for several minutes on each side until the breeding is browned and the insides coked through.  

My dad made a lot of pork when I was growing up, but never once without reminding us that undercooked pork will kill you.  Not can.  Will.  I grew up seeing zero difference between undercooked pork and a live grenade without its pin.

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Cooked oroperly the pork will be tender and juicy.  I'm not a fan of pork (which my father considered a sacrilege, but really had only himself to blame for making it so scary) but it's okay done this way if not overcooked. 

While cooking the schnitzel, sauté one small- med yellow onion (fine dice) and a couple packages of mushrooms (rough chop) in some butter and olive oil.  When onions are translucent and mushrooms nicely cooked remove from pan but leave the butter/oil for later.

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After the pork is done take that oil and drippings and add it to the mushroom onion pan - it won't be much.  Add butter (editing to correct typo because this originally said 'ass butter' which is more amusing, but kind of gross) until you have about 4 tablespoons of butter/oil.  When hot add a couple tablespoons of flour.  Stir immediately to make a roux...I HATE making roux because I almost always screw it up - but today I was lump free.  Stir continually for about 3 minutes until it's all a light brown - this cooks the raw taste out of the flour.  

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Then add about 1/2 cup of red wine (some recipes call for sherry but I don't drink wine and am not wuite sure what sherry is so if you want that kinda fancy pants cooking go google epicurious and stop judging me) and 2 cups of beef broth.  If the broth is warm it will speed up the process.  Once it reduces a little bit add 3-4 table spoons heavy cream and once incorporated add the mushrooms/onions back.

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I added too much cream - tasted okay but ruined the color.

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some versions are more like a gravy....mine is a sauce.  I hate thick gravy and wouldn't be evangalizing it here.  In fact I think what most people consider gravy is inedible enough to call into question its inclusion under the umbrella of food.  But I digress.

Serve and sauce the schnitzel on the plate.

But we cannot live by schnitzel alone so we need side dishes.

Peirogis - mushroom sauerkraut 

Our local polish deli has fabulous homemade mushroom and saurkraut pierogi.  The birthday boy's favorite, and one of the two items on the menu not from my childhood.  Mr Buffy taught them the pierogi love.  Boil until they float to the top of the water and remove from pot.  After they dry for a little bit fry in butter to brown.

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Rotkohl (red cabbage):

Since discovering this Aunt Nellie makes a red cabbage that is indistinguishable from mine once I add a little bacon I let her do the heavy lifting on this one.    Made some extra bacon at breakfast - dice and add and heat through.  Voila.

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roasted cauliflower:. I wasn't planning on making this today, but I had it from earlier in the week and wanted to use it while still fresh.  This is my go to for almost all veggies.  I used to hate vegetables - but then I realized that roasted some are actually delicious. 

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Core the cauliflower and cut into florets.  Put in large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, toss in a tsp of minced garlic, salt and pepper.  Shake until all cauliflower is coated and spread on cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes.  

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image.jpegAlso works great for broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and Brussels sprouts.

Rahmspinat (creamed spinach):

i used 3 packages of frozen spinach.  It's important to cook and drain completely because if not drained the green water mixes with the sauce and it turns a very unappealing color.

While spinach is steaming melt about 4 tbsp of butter in a pan.  Once melted add about a tsp of minced garlic...then 2 tblsp of flour for a roux and stir constantly so it's lump free.  Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and sitir until thickened and add to spinach.  I know a lot of people also use cheese - Parm or Gruyere but I'm not a fan of cheese so that will never happen at chez Buffy.

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It didn't come out right.  Under sauced and under seasoned.  If this were Top Chef I'd totally be packing my knives.

Spätzle

Love.  My favorite side dish of all time and so easy to make.  Flour, milk, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg.  That's it. Parsley if you want to get fancy.   They're a simple little pasta named because someone once thought they looked like little sparrows.  I don't see it, but it's all about taste with these little guys.

simple ratio - for every cup of flour you add 2 eggs and 1/4 cup milk.  Salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste in the fliour.  Beat the eggs and combine with milk - combine using hollow in the flour.

 

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 While making the dough put a pot of salted water on to boil.

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add to spätzle maker and drop into boiling water.  

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It just takes a very few minutes for them to rise to the top of the water and they're done.  

 

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image.jpegStrain and once dry fry lightly in butter.  Fancy people will sprinkle with fresh parsley.  I was fancy today.

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Final result - between dinner and the cake I was in the kitchen for 6 hours today.  They finished dinner in less than 6 minutes.  My baby had what he wanted for his birthday dinner and that's all that matters.  

Tomorrow...take out.

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laPapessaGiovanna

Posted (edited)

Thank you for new wonderful ideas and recipes! You must be dead tired. Sleep well! 

E tanti auguri di buon compleanno al signorino! Happy birthday to young Mr Buffy. 

ETA not wanting to pester you, but you created some great expectations for the cake...

ETA2 just noticed the cake blog post :pb_biggrin:

Edited by laPapessaGiovanna

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OnceUponATime

Posted

you know, if you wanted red cabbage you could have asked me! I still have a fair bit in the freezer which needs using up. And because I refuse to eat it more than once a week, it's taking a long time.

Spätzle is really that easy to make?! insane. I wish I knew that earlier. Guess what is going on my food making list... Käsespätzle (please don't hurt me)

 

There is one think I'm wondering: Where is the ginger?!

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ScreamingIzzy

Posted

That looks amazing!

I've been craving sauerbraten lately. Unfortunately, now is not the time for sauerbraten. 

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

@laPapessaGiovanna thanks!  I'll pass along your birthday wishes and completely butcher the pronunciation.  He calls you guys my imaginary friends. :) 

@OnceUponATime good call on red cabbage no more than once a week.  I'm intrigued about the ginger.  The only savory German recipe I use ginger in is sauerbraten?  And not only won't I kill you for the kasespaetzel I thank you for the reminder.  I made so much as I'm sending a batch over with mini-me to take to her BFs place and I'll suggest that for them.  

@ScreamingIzzy - I love sauerbraten and have never once gotten it right.  When you make it if you'd share the recipe I'd be eternally grateful.  That's one of those meals perfect for chilly fall or winter....I don't know why I associate it with cold when we do roasts in the summer?  Do you use ginger snaps in yours?  

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

8 minutes ago, OnceUponATime said:

I only asked where it was because of the blog title ;) I'm also craving pickled ginger at the moment. I'm weird.

Also I think you might like this version of spaetzle if you add more chocolate: http://daskocherl.blogspot.com/2015/04/schwarzwaelder-kirsch-spaetzle.html (if you can overlook people adapting that...) Oh it's in German btw.

Blog title...LOL!  Now I get it!  

Omg that is bookmarked - that looks amazing.  I love Black Forest cake and it's like a cool riff on that.

the day a Duggar makes anything from scratch I'll add ginger to my spätzle - I'm not worried it will ever happen. :) 

i can handle it being in German :).  Funny, until I started looking up recipes online I always thought my dad calling them receipts was his idea of a little joke.  Very punny - ha. Then I realized he was saying rezept - which in his non- accented American sounded like receipt.

My other grandmother used to call them receipts but that's an old southern thing and my dad coming from Rhineland-Pfalz to Chicago wasn't exactly southern.   

I wish someone else would post because I wanted to blog my family's very middle America and sacred potato salad recipe today but I don't want to be the only one filling up the joint.  

 

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Destiny

Posted

35 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

I wish someone else would post because I wanted to blog my family's very middle America and sacred potato salad recipe today but I don't want to be the only one filling up the joint.  

I'm talentless in the kitchen, but, off the top of my head, I nominate @laPapessaGiovanna to provide assistance in this matter.

B, if I come over, will you make some of this for me? I've never actually had german food and I'm intrigued.

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

4 minutes ago, Destiny said:

I'm talentless in the kitchen, but off the top of my head, I nominate @laPapessaGiovanna to provide assistance in this matter.

B, if I come over, will you make some of this for me? I've never actually had german food and I'm intrigued.

If you come over I'd make whatever you liked - I'd even give that horrible toffee pudding thing you like a shot!

and I'm already on it regarding recruiting the brilliant @laPapessaGiovanna - adding her access now.  Even though she will put me to shame, I have happy dreams about her blog post on homemade bread.

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Destiny

Posted

#teamLaPapessa

I thought about making mint chip ice cream today after telling the ice cream story on your blog, and got poopoo'd by the minime. Sigh. No contributions for me!

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ScreamingIzzy

Posted

@HerNameIsBuffy--I've never made it, but it's my favorite thing to order from German restaurants. I've pinned a ridiculous number of recipes on Pinterest to try next winter. I'll let you know how it goes!

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nonymouse

Posted

Happy birthday to the young mister. I have spätzle on the menu plan this week and will substitute your recipe for my usual. Danke!

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Grimalkin

Posted

I have never made spätzle but now will be obsessed until I try it. I also really want red cabbage and spinach.

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Bethella

Posted

I'll jump in and post my Sauerbraten recipe

Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup dry red wine :redwine:
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 
  • 5 black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar & pestle
  • 4 juniper berries, crushed in a mortar & pestle
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt

In a 2-3 quart saucepan combine the marinade ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. 

  • 4 lbs boneless beef roast (top or bottom roast)
  • 3 tbsp lard
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs

Place beef in a deep crock or stainless steel pot just big enough to hold it and add the marinade. The marinade should come up at least halfway, if not, add more wine. :redwine:Cover and marinate 2-3 days, turning at least twice a day.

Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade and discard the onions and spices, reserving the liquid. IN a heavy 5 quart flameproof casserole melt the lard over high heat until it sputters. Add the meat and brown, turning often and regulating the heat so it doesn't burn. This should table about 15 minutes. Transfer the meat to a platter and pour off all but 2 tbsp of fat from the casserole. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook over moderate heat for 5-8 minutes until soft and light brown. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of flour over, stirring constantly for 2 minutes until the flour begins to color. Pour in 2 cups of reserved marinade and 1/2 cup water and being to a boil over high heat. Return the meat to the casserole, cover tightly and simmer for 2 hours, until there is no resistance to piercing with a knife. Transfer meat to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Pour liquid in casserole into a large measuring cup and skim off the fat. You need 2 1/2 cups of liquid for the sauce, if you have too much liquid it can be reduced over high heat, if you don't have enough liquid add more of the reserved marinade. Combine the liquid and gingersnap crumbs in a small saucepan. Stir and cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes until the crumbs disintegrate and the sauce thickens slightly. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing with a spoon to force the vegetables and crumbs through. Simmer over low heat until ready to serve.

To serve, carve meat into 1/4 inch slices, arrange them on a platter- slightly overlapping and spoon on a little sauce. The remaining sauce can be served in a gravy boat or pitcher.  

 

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

Just now, ScreamingIzzy said:

Where does one find juniper berries? 

In gin. :)  Sorry - that's all I know!

 

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just...sare

Posted (edited)

On 6/5/2016 at 1:05 PM, HerNameIsBuffy said:

 

I wish someone else would post because I wanted to blog my family's very middle America and sacred potato salad recipe today but I don't want to be the only one filling up the joint.  

 

I would love to post some recipes, where do I sign up?

 

Also, if I wanted to try making the spatzle without the spatzle maker, would i just drop tiny bits of the dough into the water?

Edited by just...sare

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samurai_sarah

Posted

12 minutes ago, just...sare said:

I would love to post some recipes, where do I sign up?

 

Also, if I wanted to try making the spatzle without the spatzle maker, would i just drop tiny bits of the dough into the water?

You would use a chopping board and a really sharp knife, for the Spätzle. :) Hold the chopping board at an angle, after kneading the dough into a shape appropriate to the Spätzle you want. Cut the dough quickly. Into salty, boiling water.

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SilverBeach

Posted

Can I have access?

Buffy, your son ate like a king on his BD. I was drooling after I finished reading the post and I read every word. 

I love sweet and sour red cabbage and once had sweet and sour cabbage soup in a tomato base with pieces of beef in it. Scrumptious. Anybody have a recipe?

 

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just...sare

Posted

2 hours ago, samurai_sarah said:

You would use a chopping board and a really sharp knife, for the Spätzle. :) Hold the chopping board at an angle, after kneading the dough into a shape appropriate to the Spätzle you want. Cut the dough quickly. Into salty, boiling water.

Hmmm. Why quickly? Why not just chop it to pieces ahead of time? I assume it's something to do with rising or something? I'm intrigued.

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

3 hours ago, just...sare said:

I would love to post some recipes, where do I sign up?

 

Also, if I wanted to try making the spatzle without the spatzle maker, would i just drop tiny bits of the dough into the water?

Before I had a spätzle maker I used a colander or spoon with medium slots.  I'm way too uncoordinated to use the knife...id lose a finger.

its messier with the colander, but works the same.  Still that spätzle maker was the best $8 I ever spent.

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Bethella

Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, ScreamingIzzy said:

Where does one find juniper berries? 

I get mine at the local co-op. If you can't find them locally I'd look on the internet.

edited to add: @HerNameIsBuffy is right about the gin. If you can't find juniper berries, you might be able to add some gin to the marinade and call it good... now I want to try making it that way just to see how it turns out.

Edited by Bethella

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

3 hours ago, SilverBeach said:

Can I have access?

Buffy, your son ate like a king on his BD. I was drooling after I finished reading the post and I read every word. 

I love sweet and sour red cabbage and once had sweet and sour cabbage soup in a tomato base with pieces of beef in it. Scrumptious. Anybody have a recipe?

 

You sure can have access...and now you do. :) 

Ive seen a soup like that in a Polish restaurant, but I've never had it.  I might try it though if someone has a recipe - sounds like something my headship would like.

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Gossamer1

Posted

On 6/5/2016 at 1:05 PM, HerNameIsBuffy said:

I wish someone else would post because I wanted to blog my family's very middle America and sacred potato salad recipe today but I don't want to be the only one filling up the joint.  

 

I love a good potato salad, post away please!

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ScreamingIzzy

Posted

13 hours ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

In gin. :)  Sorry - that's all I know!

 

That IS my preferred method to consume juniper berries! ;)

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

1 hour ago, Gossamer1 said:

I love a good potato salad, post away please!

I did take pics when I was making it yesterday - I'll post this week.

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