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German Cuisine Recipes

by Elisabeth Castleman

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Wurstsalat (Sausage salad)
serves 4

Everybody in Germany likes to prepare Wurstsalat once in a while. It is very easy to make and is one of those German specialties that best reflects the German food industry. It is either made with fine grain sausages like Knackwurst or Frankfurter. German summer afternoons spent at home working in the garden often end with a meal of wurstsalat. Wurstsalat is also an everpresent item in almost all the menus of German inns and restaurants.

4 precooked cold knackwurst, peeled, and sliced thin (about 3/4 of a pound)
1 small onion (about 2 oz.), trimmed, peeled, sliced thin
salt (to taste )
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
3 Tablespoons wine vinegar
4 Tablespoon vegetable oil

In a salad bowl combine sliced knackwurst and sliced onion. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over knackwurst, toss and serve with a good rye bread.

Klaus's Heringsalat (Klaus's herring salad)
serves 4

Heringsalat in Germany is very much a matter of personal taste. Basic ingredients are apples, herrings, and raw onions. Some Germans like to mix horseradish into their herring salad, others add chopped capers. Some include chopped pickled cucumbers and others add mayonnaise instead of Quark (a sour cream type cottage cheese). This recipe is the adaptation of a German family recipe that was brought to North America from Darmstadt.

Contents of one 8 oz. jar of pickled herring, drained, diced in bite size pieces (keep herring juice for dressing!)
1 medium size Golden Delicious apple (no more than 8 oz.), cored, peeled, diced
1 small onion (about 2 oz.) trimmed, peeled, chopped finely
1 sweet sour pickled cucumber, chopped finely
1 hard boiled egg, shelled, chopped
2 either red or yellow Yukon Gold type potatoes (about 1/2 pound), steamed with their jackets on, peeled, sliced
1 small leafless red beet (about 1/2 pound), steamed, trimmed, peeled, OR the contents of one 8 oz can of beets,
drained and diced
1 Tablespoon mustard
1-2 Tablespoons Quark
1 Tablespoon fresh dill (about 1 young stem) minced
salt (about 1/4 teaspoon, or to taste)
freshly ground white pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon, or to taste)

In a medium size bowl combine herring pieces, apple, onion, pickled cucumber, hard boiled egg, red beet and potatoes. In a separate bowl blend mustard, quark, salt, pepper, 2-3 Tablespoons herring juice and fresh dill to make a dressing. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Serve with rye bread.

Schweinsmedallions mit Sommermajoran (Boneless pork cutlets with fresh marjoram)
serves 4

This easy-to-make recipe is an adaptation of a Rhine country dish, updated for a reduced cholesterol diet. It is a beautifully color-contrasting meal if you serve it together with red stewed cabbage.

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin cutlets (cut no thicker than 1/3 of an inch)
1/4 cup golden raisins, soaked in white wine
1 large Golden Delicious apple, cored, peeled, quartered, sliced
1 large onion, trimmed, peeled, sliced
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup mustard
leaves of 10 full grown stems of fresh marjoram (about 1 oz. or 1 cup of loosely packed leaves), rinsed, chopped
salt (to taste)
freshly ground white pepper (to taste)

On a cutting board, season cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper to taste (both optional). Evenly spread the mustard on only one side of the meat. In a large, covered non-stick pan, over medium heat, heat the oil and saute onions until lightly golden and limp (about 5-10 minutes). Drain raisins (keep juice). To the translucent onions, add apple slices and raisins. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add cutlets, placing them first on the side without the mustard and making space for them by pushing the onions aside. Brown cutlets for about 5-10 minutes on each side. Drizzle the cutlets with raisin wine juice and sprinkle them with the marjoram. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pan, and cook the cutlets until they are done. No pink should be visible when you serve the meat. The internal temperature should be at 160-165 degrees F.

Gedunstetes Rotkraut or Gedunsteter Rotkohl
(Stewed red cabbage)
serves 4

Cabbage (which on the German produce market is available either red or green) and Sauerkraut are absolutely star ingredients in typical German cuisine. Red cabbage has a somewhat sweeter taste than the green variety. It makes an interesting color contrast with a main course that is pale in color, such as herbed pork cutlets.

1 small whole (about 1 1/2 pound) red cabbage, trimmed, cored, rinsed and sliced
1 small onion (about 2 oz.) trimmed, peeled, sliced or chopped
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
salt (to taste)
freshly ground white pepper (to taste)
1/3 cup broth
2/3 cup white wine

In a covered medium-size non-stick stir fry pan, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onions until golden brown and translucent. Add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper to taste (both optional). Stir cabbage to coat everything with oil. Reduce the heat to medium, add broth and let simmer covered until cabbage has absorbed the liquid and has softened (about 10 minutes). Occasionally stir to prevent the cabbage from sticking or burning. Add wine, stir, cover again, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. If necessary, add more wine and stir occasionally until the cabbage has reached your desired doneness (the cabbage should have lost all its crunchiness).

Note: You may follow the same procedure with green cabbage and with sauerkraut. If you use sauerkraut, rinse it in abundant water and drain it before using it as instructed above.

Erdbeer Bowle (Strawberry wine punch)
serves 4

Bowle is a classic German party wine punch. During the month of May throughout Germany, bowle is served flavored with fresh woodruff (Waldmeister), a sweet scented herb with white flowers, which grows especially well in wooded and shady areas away from hot climates and sunshine. Later, during strawberry season, bowle is made with strawberries which grow abundantly everywhere. As German summer season progresses, bowle is prepared with other fruits like sweet imported peaches, chunks of juicy watermelon, pieces of bright orange cantaloupe, or plump raspberries.

1/2 pint fresh strawberries, stemless, rinsed, cut in half or in quarters (the cutting will not be necessary if you use wild
strawberries) 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 bottle German Riesling, well chilled
1 Tablespoon brandy (preferably Alsbach Uralt)
1/2 bottle German Sekt, well chilled

Place the strawberries in a large covered glass jar (a sun tea jar will be fine), sprinkle them with sugar and drizzle them with the brandy. Set them aside to marinate for two hours to allow the sugar to draw out the juice from the berries. Add white wine, stir, and set aside for two additional hours. When ready to serve, pour in serving punch bowl. Add Sekt and serve chilled in wide champagne type glasses, making sure to distribute strawberries with the wine.

more on German Cuisine...
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