June is the start of winter here, so it seemed like a good time to get into some really hearty cuisine. We decided on German, Austrian and Swiss – hence the ‘Germanic’ title. I admit to not knowing much about any of these cuisines beyond the stereotypical schnitzel, sausage, fondue, cakes and pastries, so I’m looking forward to learning a lot.
I decided to start the month with an iconic dish, the schnitzel. I thought about making some seitan and using that, but the idea of a big mushroom was just too appealing, and oh my, it was good! I used some big portobello mushrooms, which were pre-cooked to soften them, then flattened crumbed and baked. We had them with a creamy pepper sauce, chips and salad. These are definitely getting made again, and I think I’ll make a big batch and freeze some.
Tofu & Mushroom Stroganoff
Steve’s first foray into the area was a stroganoff, using tofu and shitake mushrooms. While stroganoff originated in Russia, it has been popular in Germany since the early 1900’s, and around the world with many countries giving it their own twist. The German version added the mushrooms and onions. Shitake mushrooms are really good in this since they’re that bit chewier than other mushrooms. Rich and creamy we had it over rice, though it’s often served over noodles too.
Krautfleckerl – Austrian Pasta with Cabbage
I’ll admit I had my doubts, after all pasta and cabbage doesn’t sound very exciting, but don’t be fooled this is absolutely delicious! The cabbage is more or less caramelised with onion, caraway seeds, margarine, oil, salt and pepper. Since now we both have colds I threw in some garlic and nutritional yeast for good measure. Not expecting it to be so tasty I also did some roast vegetables drizzled with balsamic vinegar, which were also delicious, but really you could just eat a big bowl of this on its own.
German style carrot hot dogs
It’s my first time trying carrot hot dogs. I’ve heard many rave reviews, so decided it was time to give it a shot. If you haven’t heard about it, just Google ‘carrot hot dogs’ and you’ll get lots of hits. In essence, you cook whole carrots, marinate them for at least 24 hours, fry and eat in place of a hot dog or sausage. In keeping with the theme of the month, I did German style hot dogs, serving them with a cheats sauerkraut and mustard. I have to say they were good! I’ll definitely be making them again soon, but the marinade needs a little adjusting yet. The flavour of the braggs was a bit strong for me, and I should’ve cooked them just a little bit longer.
Austrian goulash with dumplings
I’m familiar with the goulash as a Hungarian dish, but I didn’t know it was also popular in Austria, though apparently it’s thicker and more stew-like than its Hungarian counterpart. It’s very hearty with a rich tomato base. The strongest flavour is the paprika, plus some sourness from the lemon and vinegar. I did a version with root vegetables, chick peas and dumplings, served over brown rice. A fabulous dish for those cold winter nights, especially if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, and need some serious comfort food.
Recipes coming soon, I promise!