Posts Tagged ‘german’


spinach-sauerkraut soup

June 4, 2011

soup in under a half-hour with no prep? i’m down.

spinach-sauerkraut soup

250 g fresh or frozen spinach
300 g mild Sauerkraut
500ml stock
1 bunch parsley
300 ml heavy cream
salt, pepper
1 pinch sugar
100 g creme fraiche (ed: we used homemade yogurt)
(ed: a handful of beans, peas, or lentils)

1. Wash and remove stems and roots of fresh spinach – defrost frozen spinach and let it drain in a sieve so all water is gone.
2. Chop Sauerkraut; wash parsley and chop it.
3. Puree Sauerkraut, spinach and parsley with a hand mixer or in a blender; add it into a large pot and fill in the beef broth; let it simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Add heavy cream, salt, pepper and sugar; let it steep for 5 minutes.
5. Serve the soup with a dab of creme fraiche.

Variation: Instead of using the whole amount of heavy cream, mix in about 100g grated gouda cheese.

edit 11/11: WOW. j made some quick-kraut (no prepared lacto-fermented stuff) with apple cider vinegar and salt and let it sit a few hours. not having a functional food processor, most of the prep time was just in chopping and washing greens. the sour kraut lent such an interesting element to the thing; it made the soup taste like it had been cooking all day. j and i both loved this! threw some urad dal (black lentils) in to make it a little heavier. i definitely recommend doing that. we topped it with yogurt. YUM!


lentil stew with spaetzle

June 4, 2011

lentil stew with spaetzle

250 g lentils (dry)
1 bundle soup greenery (carrot, celery, parsley root, celery root, leek)
50 g German Speck or Smoked Bacon
1 tbsp cooking oil (neutral oil)
broth or stock
200 g spaetzle
150 g sausage

1. Soak the lentils for at least 6 hours or overnight in cold water; drain and wash.
2. Fry soup greenery and speck in oil.
3. Add 1 l water and bring it to a boil; add stock and lentils and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
4. 7-8 minutes before the lentils are done, add the dried Spaetzle, and let them cook until they are soft. If spaetzle are homemade, they only need 2-3 minutes with the lentils.
4. Cut Kassler or sausages in slices or cubes and add them before the stew is done. Sprinkle parsley before serving hot with fresh bread.

I think it’s neat that there are so many Schwabisch recipes that call for lentils (although I don’t remember my grandmother ever making them.) I’ll be interested in experimenting with vegetarian Schwabisch recipes this fall.


sourdough rye

April 30, 2011

just set the sponge to sour. we’ll see… i suspect this will be delicious, and increasingly more delicious with each week the baby sourdough is alive.

* 1 cup sourdough starter, at room temperature
* 1 1/2 cups rye flour
* 1 1/4 cups warm water
* 1 (2 1/4 teaspoon) packet active dry yeast (NOTE: I REFUSE TO USE THIS!)
* 1 cup whole wheat flour
* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 2 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds

1. 1 Combine starter, rye flour, and one cup of the water in a large bowl; let sour.
2. 2 Add whole-wheat flour, 1 3/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, and caraway seeds; stir until dough comes together.
3. 3 Knead 9-10 minutes until dough is smooth and springy; add more all-purpose flour, a tablespoon or two at a time during the kneading process as necessary to reduce excess stickiness (this particular dough will remain somewhat sticky); cover and let rise about 1 – 1 1/2 hours in a warm place until doubled.
4. 4 Punch down dough and knead a few strokes to release air; shape into a round loaf and place on a baking stone or a greasing baking sheet; cover loaf lightly and allow to rise about 30 minutes until almost doubled.
5. 5 Spray loaf with water and bake at 425° for 9 minutes, spraying loaf after 3, 6, and 9 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 400° and bake another 20-25 minutes until loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom; transfer finished loaf to cooling rack.

modified from this.

ED: too dense. maybe the extra yeast would have been helpful for an airy, holey loaf. this was… bagely. delicious, but too dense. we still ate the whole thing in less than a day. the texture was so bagely that i may turn it into bagels if the same thing happens next time.


soft pretzels

April 15, 2011

this is my first attempt at boiled bread. i’m a little nervous. and i’m NOT using lye.

basic form taken from this and this

* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 package / 1 cake yeast
* 3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 2 teaspoons pretzel salt*


Stir together sugar, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (105 to 110°F) in a glass measuring cup, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon table salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Dust work surface with 1 tablespoon flour, then turn out dough and knead, gradually dusting with just enough additional flour to make a smooth sticky dough, about 8 minutes. (Dough needs to be somewhat sticky to facilitate rolling and forming into pretzels).

Return dough to bowl and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth on a clean dry work surface into a rope about 24 inches long. If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust them with flour. Twist dough into a pretzel shape. (Dough will retract as you form the pretzel.)

Transfer pretzel with your hands to an oiled baking sheet and form 7 more pretzels in same manner with remaining dough, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart.

Let pretzels stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a wide 6-quart pot of water to a boil.

Using both hands, carefully add 3 pretzels, 1 at a time, to boiling water and cook, turning over once with tongs, until pretzels are puffed and shape is set, about 3 minutes. Transfer parboiled pretzels to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining 5 pretzels in 2 batches.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper, then arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush pretzels lightly with some of egg and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 35 minutes.

edit: they looked sort of funny, but definitely tasted like soft pretzel. i wouldn’t say they were indistinguishable from mall or nyc pretzels, but they were delicious and one batch is DEFINITELY not enough. i did four pretzels with an egg wash and four without, and they were instantly devoured. the egg wash made them more soft/chewy (in a good way, like a nyc pretzel) and the non-egg-wash ones got a crispyness on the bottom that was delicious, but unauthentic. i liked both. i’m definitely making this again and again. everyone was delighted by these.

edit two: i made them again two days later. and now i’m making them again today. i’m addicted. i regret nothing.

i was born in new jersey of south german descent, so i’m sort of genetically programmed into a love of soft pretzels.



February 26, 2011

my mother has been on a quest to copy her mother’s sweet and savory zweibelkuchen (say “swivel-koo-[ch]a”) recipe for years. she says she’s finally found something that makes the onions as soft and sweet as she remembers.


zweibelkuchen, if you’ve never had one before, is your new favorite comfort food. picture a buttery, flaky crust, filled with a rich, creamy mixture of sweet onions, bacon, and happiness. it is easy to make this vegetarian – just make sure to use a flavorful veggie broth to make up for the missing bacon.


make your own partially-baked pie crust, or use packaged puff pastry.

fry 3 slices bacon cut into 1/2 in pieces til crisp, set aside

mix two T bacon fat with 2 large sweet onions, about 2 lbs, thinly sliced
mix in 1/4c honey and 1/4 c stock or dry white wine with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
bake at 375 for 30 minutes to caramelize, stirring often towards the end
(my mother insisted it was essential to bake them)
then add a few pinches nutmeg, some salt, and 1 t caraway

spread 3/4c creme fraiche on the bottom of the pastry… any mixture of sour cream, thick yogurt, or anything similar in texture and creaminess should be fine. (i use homemade whole-milk yogurt.)

throw everything else in

bake at 375 for 30 minutes




December 16, 2010

this “swabian” (schwabisch) recipe is from black forest cuisine by walter staib, a relative of some kind whom i’ve never met.

i guess this recipe is also called crisp bread, Näkkileipä, knäckebröd, hårt bröd, hårdbröd, spisbröd, knækbrød, knekkebrød, näkkileipä, hapankorppu, hrökkbrauð, Knäckebrot (knackebrot) or Knäcke (knacke,) and can be rye, airy, dense, or any number of ways. (thanks, wiki! haha)

i don’t understand why this flat cracker bread (which does look simple and amazing) calls for yeast. i’d imagine it has to be stretched really thinly so it doesn’t get chewy. i haven’t tried this yet, but wonder about using my sourdough starter instead of yeast…

1 1/4c water
1 1/2T dry active yeast
2T honey
6T olive oil
3c bread flour
1 1/2t salt

2 eggs 1 egg
1T water
1T caraway seed
1T poppy seed
1T kosher salt

preheat over to 375. grease the backs of two 11×17 baking sheets.

combine water, yeast, and honey. add olive oil, flour, and salt. mix until a stiff ball. add more flour if dough is too wet.

divide in half and stretch over baking sheets.

beat eggs with water and glaze breads. sprinkle with seeds and salt.

bake 25 mins; cool on baking sheets. break into pieces.


EDIT 6/16/11.

just made it last night for the first time! WHOA! so easy! no rise; the yeast was definitely for flavor only, but tasted great. i’m not typically into a super-yeasty taste, but it definitely worked with the honey-and-seeds taste. one got stretched over a smallish cookie sheet, and became flatbread (which was delicious) and the other, stretched over a giant cookie sheet, became crisp and delicious! so if you want crackers, make sure to stretch it super thin.

let me know if anyone tries this, how it turns out, and also let me know if you try it with a sourdough starter. i think that’d be amazing!


gefüllter weißkohl

December 16, 2010

this “swabian” (schwabisch) recipe is from black forest cuisine by walter staib (a relative of some kind)

STUFFED CABBAGE  (say: gefilte vye’ss-coal, or filled white cabbage)

1 T unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
6 oz ground pork
6 oz ground beef
3 egg yolks
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 c cooked rice
salt and pepper

1 head green cabbage
6 slices bacon, cut in half widthwise

2 T unsalted butter
1 T finely chopped garlic
1/4c finely chopped bacon
1/4c finely chopped onion
1/4c finely chopped green pepper
3 T hungarian paprika
2 T flour
1 c full-bodied red wine, such as burgundy
1/2 t ground cayenne
1/2 t dried red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1/3 c sour cream

make stuffing. saute onions in butter. set aside to cool completely. combine cooled onion and other stuffing ingredients, mix well.

preheat over to 350.

bring saucepan of lightly salted water to boil, reduce to “hearty simmer” at medium-high. core cabbage and simmer until outer leaves are slightly softened, ~2-3min. remove outer leaves and drain on towel. continue this process until you have at least 24 leaves.

place two leaves slightly overlapping and add ~1/4c stuffing to middle. fold and set seal side down in a greased baking dish.

place half a slice of bacon over each cabbage and bake until bacon is crisp, ~20mins.

to make sauce, saute garlic, add bacon and saute til crisp. add veggies and saute ~2mins til softened. stir in paprika and flour. add wine to deglaze, loosening the browned bits at the bottom. simmer 5 mins. add cayenne and s&p and simmer 5-10 mins. remove from heat and add sour cream.

add sauce to baking dish. stick it back in the oven for 10 mins. serve hot.


schwabisch recipes i want to try

November 13, 2010



rouladen (agh!)


schupf nudeln


and.. one day.. maybe.. spaetzle.

could they ever be as good as oma’s?


here are some other bits of Schwäbische Küche i’ve posted, including the best-ever sauerbraten recipe.


kartoffelsalat (no-mayo potato salad from the black forest)

November 13, 2010

one more tried-and-true family recipe from the schwarzwald before i post a bunch of new things i want to try.

then i need to try and sleep.

but how can i sleep when the sauerbraten will be ready tomorrow! it’s worse than waiting for someone to stop squirming.

anyway, steam or boil some potatoes. chop ’em into chunks. throw ’em in a bowl.

fry some bacon. don’t toss the fat. crunch the bacon and return the crumbles to the greasy pan with some beef stock, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg, a little sugar, and maybe some onions. boil it a little and pour it over the potatoes.

southern germans make the best potato salad in the world.

(recipe courtesy of my grandmother)



November 13, 2010

one of my top FIVE favorite foods of all-time.

think of this as corned beef, but about a thousand times more flavorful. if you’ve ever had real sauerbraten, you know the spicy-sweet fermented taste cannot be duplicated. don’t trust any recipe that says anything less than “soak meat in vinegar and wine for days and days”


  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups vinegar (I like a blend of apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar; making your own is easy!)
  • 1 or more cups water
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 T black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 2 T juniper berries, cracked open with the side of a knife blade or hit once with mortar and pestle
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Sauerbraten Spice (prepackaged can be found in the store, or make your own like I do, with mustard seed, juniper berry, peppercorn, allspice, cinnamon, bay leaf, clove, ginger, and cardamom. Sometimes i do a little more or less than three tablespoons; depends on the size of the cut of meat)
  • 4 pounds boneless beef roast

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • cups and cups and cups of vegetables – potatoes, carrots, celery, root veggies, or whatever you have around
  • 2 T flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • gingersnap cookies or pumpernickel bread, crumbled – enough to thicken sauce – usually less than one cup

Combine all marinade ingredients, except the roast itself, in 2-3 quart saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. (Sometimes I’ve poured it over hot, and it’s been fine.)

Place the beef in a deep, non-reactive (glass or ceramic) bowl or pot just large enough to hold it. Pour marinade over beef. Add more liquids if the roast isn’t halfway covered. Refrigerate for 3 days, turning the meat in the marinade at least twice each day. I’ve left it up to four days and can’t vouch for five or more, but I’m sure as long as you’re turning the meat whenever you go into the kitchen, it could be fine in your fridge for a long, long time.

Remove meat from marinade and pat completely dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade through a fine sieve and reserve the liquid. Discard spices and onions.

In heavy, 5-quart dutch oven, heat the butter until bubbling stops. Add the meat and brown on all sides, turning frequently, so that it browns evenly without burning. Transfer to platter and set aside.

For roasting, add the onions, carrots, and celery to the same pan you cooked the meat in. Cook over moderate heat until soft and light brown (5-8 minutes). Sprinkle 2T flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes longer or until the flour begins to color. Pour in 2 cups of the reserved marinade and 1/2 cup of water and bring to boil over high heat. Return the meat to the pot, cover tightly, and simmer over low heat for 2 hours, or until the meat shows no resistance when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Alternatively, bake in 350 degree oven for 2 hours.

(We cooked this most recent sauerbraten all day in a crock pot, but normally I do it in the oven. There wasn’t really a significant difference; sauerbraten is never bad.)

Pour the liquid left in the pot into a large measuring cup and skim fat from surface. You will need at least 2 1/2 cups for the sauce. If additional liquid is needed, add some of the reserved marinade.

Combine the liquid and the gingersnap crumbs in a saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently for approx. 10 minutes, allowing the crumbs to dissolve completely and thicken the sauce to the desired consistency.

Serve with dumplings, boiled potatoes, or spaetzle.
With all those roasted vegetables, you don’t really need a side, but you can never go wrong with stewed red cabbage, kartoffelsalat (black forest potato salad,) or kraut.

I am convinced that this is the best recipe, but if you know of any variations, please comment! I’d love to learn what other peoples’ families do.