Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oktoberfest food in May

5/27/09 Cook’s Corner
Betty Kaiser
Oktoberfest food in May

Two years ago during a crazy, extensive tour of Europe, I got a little tired of eating traditional Bavarian foods. After a couple of weeks, my taste buds had overdosed on Bratwurst and they craved fresh vegetables. I thought if I ever saw a platter of schnitzel or sausages again — it would be too soon!

Evidently I have a short memory. Earlier this month, while visiting Leavenworth (the Bavarian capital of Washington State) I suddenly had a craving for Wiener Schnitzel and my husband was hankering for Knackwurst. Go figure.

Schnitzel starts with a boneless ‘cutlet’ piece of meat, lightly breaded and quickly fried. It is a popular dish in a variety of cultures (think Brazil and the Middle East) where it is known for its dry, crispy exterior and ease of preparation.

Today I’m harvesting some Bavarian recipes out of a cookbook entitled “A taste of Leavenworth.” Local residents contributed old world recipes that are mostly what I call ‘foods of substance.’ We’re talking meat, potatoes, dumplings, root vegetables, and cream cheese desserts. No low calorie meals here.

First up is a great iced coffee recipe that tastes like an ice cream float for grownups. I’ve also included a rhubarb coffee cake with an unusual topping (hopefully some of you still have rhubarb in your garden). Finally, we’ll move on to a basic schnitzel recipe that can be fancied up Cordon Bleu style.

The Wiener Schnitzel that most of us are familiar with is veal, fried in lard. However, you can successfully substitute pork, chicken or turkey. Thinly slice, bread and fry the meat in canola oil just like the veal. Be sure to trim the meat well and pound it between two pieces of plastic wrap. And before you get to the breading stage, put out three plates: one for the whisked eggs; another for flour and another for breadcrumbs.

Depending upon individual preferences, schnitzel is served with a variety of side dishes: spaetzle (little noodle dumplings), red cabbage, potatoes, a good brown sauce (gravy) and perhaps a green salad with beer as a beverage. Enjoy!

Eiskaffee Aus Zermatt
Iced Coffee
Brigett Hoppe, formerly of Stuttgart

1 pint Hazelnut or almond ice cream
1 pint strong lukewarm coffee
1/3 cup orange liqueur (or flavoring)
Whipping cream for garnish

Spoon ice cream into 4-6 tall glasses or coffee mugs. Pour the coffee over the ice cream and sprinkle with liqueur. Pipe with whipped cream (and serve with a tall spoon.)

Rhubarb Coffee Cake
Marion Hill, Autumn Leaf Festival

1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1-teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups flour
3 cups rhubarb, sliced
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Grease 9X13” baking pan.

Cream together butter, sugar and egg. Add buttermilk, soda, vanilla, salt, flour and rhubarb. Mix well. Pour into greased pan and sprinkle brown sugar and nuts over the top. Bake 45 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and pour topping over cake (recipe follows). Cool slightly.


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

While cake is baking, prepare topping. Heat ingredients in small pan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Set aside and pour over warm cake after it is removed from oven.

Wiener Schnitzel
Brigette Hoppe, formerly of Stuttgart

4 veal cutlets or veal scallops
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter or oil

Pound scallops as thinly as possible. Sprinkle with salt and coat in flour. Beat eggs with 3 tablespoons cold water. Turn veal slices in the egg batter, then coat in bread crumbs. Heat butter or oil in a frying pan and fry quickly for 2 -3 min. on each side to a golden brown color. Drain on paper towel and serve garnished with lemon wedges and lettuce leaves.

Note: To prepare Cordon Bleu style, place a slice of Swiss cheese and boiled ham on top of the cutlet. Fold it over, secure with a wooden toothpick and cook as directed, 5 min. per side.

Rotkohl (Red Cabbage)
Elsie Ullrich, formerly of Salzburg

1 head red cabbage, chopped
1 med. onion, diced
1 apple, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup red wine (or apple juice)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
3 whole cloves
1/2 stick butter or margarine

Combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil; simmer 30-45 minutes (depending on how firm or soft you like your cabbage).

German Spaetzle
Brigitte Hoppe, formerly from Stuttgart

4 cups flour
2/3 cup water (approx.)
1 teaspoon cornmeal
4 eggs
1 teaspoon salt

Combine ingredients to a firm dough. Beat until it comes easily away from sides of the bowl; add more water if needed. Leave for 1/2 hour. Press dough through a Spaetzle press into a quart of (salted) boiling water. Skim out as soon as they are swimming on top. Drain and serve on a hot platter with melted butter, cheese or gravy.

Note: A potato ricer can be used in place of the press. After cooking and cooling the Spaetzle may also be fried in butter or hot oil.

Keep it simple and keep it seasonal!
Betty Kaiser’s Cook’s Corner is dedicated to sharing a variety of recipes
that are delicious, family oriented and easy to prepare.