Week 8 – Germany

With only a few weeks left of my Classical European cuisine class, we have moved west northwest into the country of Germany. This cold environment brings us warm and hearty dishes like Kartoffelsuppe mit Miesmuscheln und Lauch (Potato Soup with Mussels and Leeks), Rahmilinsen mit Salat (Lentil Ragout with Greens), Kalbslebersteak mit Roter Zwiebelmarmelade und Senfesauce (Calf’s liver with red onion marmalade and mustard sauce), Schweinelendchen im Schwarzbratmantel, (Pork Tenderloin in a Dark Bread Crust), Rotkraut und Spätzle (Braised Red Cabbage and Spaetzle), and finally Mohncreme mit Rotweinbrinen (Poppy seed cream with pears in red wine).

First up is the Potato Soup with Mussels and Leeks. Honestly this recipe is just like the Soupe de Legumes aux Petits Coquillages from Week 5-France I. We replaced the other vegetables with potato and leeks. Potato and leek soup is also called Vichyssoise which is very comforting but I wasn’t a big fan of the addition of mussels. It felt forced and I would rather have kept the dishes separate. The dish also needed to be seasoned more. I found it odd that mussels were apart of the German cuisine which Chef Bill explained is because the country borders both the North and Baltic Seas’.

Next recipe is Lentil Ragout with greens. I decided to leave off the baby greens and tomatoes and serve this as a bed of lentils with the port instead of a salad. The lentils were seasoned perfectly. This was a heavy dish and I’m glad I used it sparringly. The touch of honey in the end really brightened up the beans and vegetables.

Laid on top of egg noodles is the Calf’s Liver topped with a Red Onion Marmalade. A very simple application, the onions are finely sliced and cooked down in red wine, honey and butter for 45 minutes. They were very sweet and delicious. A great topping for toast but even better with the liver. Now, normally I wouldn’t go near liver, but it was not bad at all. It was tender and juicy and not gamey at all which are my usual issues with liver. We left the mustard sauce off the dish and used some of the onion liquid instead.

The Pork dish was very nicely prepared. The tenderloin was butterflied and stuffed with dried apricots, cherries and raisins stuffing and rolled, tied with twine and cooked. It was delicious. The sweetness of the fruit with the lightness of the pork was a big hit. I topped it with the braised cabbage which was next on the list It was prepared just like the marmalade but thickened a bit at the end with cornstarch. Both preparations were very easy and tasty.

Spatzle is a type of german pasta which is quite fun to make, especially with kids. You make a somewhat thin dough-type batter and pour it through a colander into a pot of boiling water. It will make funny shapes and taste good too. I used the spatzle as a bed for the liver also, but I decided to make egg noodles as well. The texture of the Spatzle was like a light dumpling. Not much flavor just like pasta.

FInally, for dessert is a Poppy Seed Cream with Pears in Red Wine. This is a simple custard with bright flavors like orange zest and the warmth of cinnamon. The pears were poached in the red wine which added a tangyness to the dish. Yummm!

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Published in: on March 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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