I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

German style Food

I decided to make up some German style food. Louisville has a fairly strong German heritage. There are a lot of German restaurants but I haven't been to any yet. What got me hungry for German food was looking through The Elvis Presley Cookbook. A lot of the recipes in that book come from Elvis' chef. There seem to be a lot of German style recipes in the The Elvis Presley Cookbook. There is another Elvis cookbook that I am looking into but haven't purchased yet. Why Elvis you ask? Did you see how fat he was? Obviously he knew about good food.

One of the recipes I made from the book is the recipe for cheese grits. Although not even remotely a German recipe, it just seemed to fit well with eating German style food in Louisville. I also made a beer bread that has just a touch of rye flour in it. For desert we had apple dumplings.

Beer Bread
1 package yeast
1 T sugar
2 1/2 cups bread flour (13.5 ounces)
3 T rye flour (1 ounce)
9 ounces dark beer at room temperature - today I used Paulaner Salvator Double Bock
1 1/4 t salt

Combine flours, sugar and yeast in the mixer. Pour in the beer and knead with the dough hook for 1 minute. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and knead at medium speed for 7 minutes. Form into a ball, cover, and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until double in size.
Preheat oven to 450 with a cast iron skillet on the floor of the oven with a baking stone on the bottom rack.
Meanwhile press the dough down and reform it into a ball. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and place the dough ball on the paper. Lightly oil a piece of plastic wrap and let the dough rise until about double in size. Slash the dough in your favorite slash pattern. Slide the parchment paper and dough onto the baking stone. Throw a handful of ice into the cast iron skillet. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 400 and continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.

Alternatively you can let the dough rise the second time in a banneton like I did to get a nice spiral pattern on the loaf.

While the bread was baking the baby and I took a walk around Steamer Cove. You can really tell it is spring around here.
She got chased by a bee.

Elvis' Cheese Grits

4 cups boiling water
1 t salt
1 cup instant grits
1/2 c butter
1 6 ounce roll garlic cheese (see picture below)
2 eggs

Bring pan of salted water to a boil. Stir in the grits. Cook for a few minutes until they start to thicken up. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese. In a measuring cup mix eggs and milk so that the volume is 1 cup. Add to the grits mixture. Pour grits into a casserole dish and bake at 300 for an hour or until they brown a little on top and are thickened up.

Bratwurst with Sauerkraut Dinner

1/3 cup chopped onion

2 slices cooked bacon, cut up

1 cup beer

1 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons spicy mustard

2 tablespoons molasses

2 teaspoons caraway seed

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 large rutabaga, peeled & cut into 1" cubes

1 pound fully cooked bratwurst or knockwurst, bias-sliced into 2- to 2-1/2-inch pieces

2 medium cooking apples, cored and cut into 8 wedges each

1 16-ounce can sauerkraut, drained and rinsed

In a Dutch oven or large pot cook onion and bacon until onion is tender but not brown. Stir in beer. In a 2-cup glass measure combine the water, cornstarch, brown mustard, molasses, caraway seed, allspice, and pepper; stir into bacon mixture. Cook and stir util thickened and bubbly. Add rutabaga; cover and cook 15 minutes. Stir in the knockwurst, apple wedges, and sauerkraut. Cook, covered, 15 to 20 minutes more or until apples are tender.

Apple Dumplings

For the pastry:

1/2 cup all­vegetable shortening
3 1/2 cups all­purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound (2 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
8 to 12 tablespoons ice water

For the apples:

4 small tart apples, such as Granny Smith
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoons dark rum
4 teaspoons unsalted butter

Mixture of cinnamon/sugar/nutmeg – a little of each.

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 drops red food coloring
3 tablespoons butter

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, water, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and food coloring. bring to a boil, remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons butter. Set aside.

2. To make the pastry, combine the shortening, flour and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Using on and off pulsing action, combine until the mixture resembles fine meal. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces, and pulse a few times, or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons of the ice water, and pulse a few times. The mixture should hold together when pinched. Add more water, if necessary. (This can also be done using a pastry blender or two knives.)

Scrape the pastry onto a floured board, form it into a ball, and wrap it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. While the pastry is chilling, peel and core the apples. Divide the raisins and rum into the core holes, and place 1 teaspoon of butter in each core hole.

4. Divide the pastry into 4 parts. Form one part into a ball, and place it between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. Flatten with your hands into a "pancake." Roll the pastry into a circle large enough to cover the apple. Place an apple in the center, and dust with sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg mixture. Bring up the sides to encase it. Pinch the top together, holding the dough with a little water. If the folds seem thick, trim them off and seal the seams with water. Repeat with the remaining apples.

5. Pour the syrup over the dumplings and sprinkle with additional sugar, if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until apples are tender.

I can see why farmers like hearty German food. If you are running to the park it gives you a lot of energy.

After you are finished eating a big hearty plate of food like this:

You get a tasty desert to cleanse the palate.

Be sure to have something to wash the whole meal down!