Tuesday, May 17, 2011

German cooking

Do you like to watch the Eurovision song contest?

We have been watching it ever since SBS started broadcasting it. Years ago we started a quirky tradition: on the night that Eurovision airs on TV we cook food from the host country.

After Lena's win last year, Eurovision was held in Germany. The contest is now held over 3 nights with 2 semi-finals and the final. Here's what I made this year:

night one:

Suss-saure Bratwurst
(bratwurst in sweet and sour sauce)

Wurzsaurkraut (spiced sauerkraut)

Steamed Green Beans

night two:

Konigsberger Klopse (poached meatballs in lemon and caper sauce)

Himmel und Erde ('heaven and earth' - potatoes with apples)

Brussels Sprouts braised in Reisling

night three:

Sauebraten (marinated pot roast in sweet and sour sauce)

Kateoffelklosse (potato dumplings)

Rotkohl mit Apfeln (red cabbage with apples)

marinating the beef for the Saurbraten

the meatballs being rolled and ready for poaching

the ingredients for the spiced sauerkraut

rolling potato dumplings with my daughter

The verdict:

• It is hard to make German food look good on a plate.
• I have made the bratwurst and red cabbage before, and as before they were delicious.
• I was dreaming of a German friends sauerkraut, and while mine was good, it just wasn't the same.
• the Heaven and Earth tasted good but it reminded me of baby food, something I am trying to move away from. Actually the kids did not eat it.
• this was my first pot roast and probably my last. The butcher didn't have the cut of meat that I had asked for and I bought the 'round' roast that he suggested with hesitation. I usually don't like the taste of round and I don't like beef well done.
• I really needed the potato ricer on my wish list for the potato dumplings. Yes, there were a few lumps, my German ancestors would have been horrified.
• even though my dumplings were a little bit of a disaster, especially the second batch, the flavour combination of the saurbraten, dumplings and braised red cabbage went really well together. It is the traditional way to serve this dish, I believe.
• it was a little ambitious to cook five recipes I never cooked before all in one weekend. It is definitely better to do this kind of thing when everyone is a school or work.
• I had a lot of fun trying new dishes, ingredients and techniques. I especially loved rolling potato dumplings with my daughter.

Azerbaijan next year. I can't wait.

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Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's happening in your kitchen. If you've tried one of my recipes, I'd like to know what you thought? Do you have some advice to make it better? Did you find a mistake? Perhaps it is a new favourite in your home?

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