Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Sauerbraten Sagas - Part IV: The Dinner

Well, three days later I've finally recovered from the abundance of festivity enough to give a run-down of the dinner. The food was fantastic - all the effort was worth it seeing people eat heartily and with pleasure; the wine flowed freely and the company was terrific.

The Food

Amuse bouche: - Goat cheese and roasted beet stacks with balsamic reduction.
I loved this last-minute addition; the flavors melded together nicely and it was a visually striking dish the way the beet juices seeped into the goat cheese, turning it hot pink.

Appetizer: Kartoffelpuffer - German Potato Pancakes
I'd really missed the potato pancakes we had growing up. They were not the kind similar to latkes made from grated potato, but smoother and puffier, but neither did they appear to be made from leftover lumps of mashed potato.

After some searching, including some consultation with a Facebook friend in Germany, I got it.

When I tasted the first tester out of the skillet, as is my right as cook, I got swept back to Gasthaus Edelweiss and their fluffy, cripsy potato pancakes.


The Main Course:
  1. Sauerbraten
    After going back and forth over the procedure, I finally decided to cook it in the crock pot on low for 12 hours. A good decision, except that the meat was done in 10. I turned the heat down to warm and let it sit in the broth until it was time to let it rest on the platter and make the gingersnap gravy.

    It was delicious, and this also came pretty close to what we grew up eating. Everyone enjoyed it, but the real test was when I brought the leftovers to my sister's house and she tried it. She said, "OMG Barbara! This tastes just like the sauerbraten we had at Gasthaus Edelweiss!"

    The gingersnap gravy was tangy without being too thick. As good as it was on its own, we discovered how much better it was with a bit of sour cream added to it.

    Again: success. :)

  2. Spätzle
    I love these things. My SIL brought over her Spätzle-maker, andI really need to get one of my own.

  3. Red cabbage slaw
    My SIL's canned spicy red cabbage slaw complemented everything perfectly. I need the recipe, too.

  4. Steamed green beans with walnut vinaigrette
    Would you believe it? I forgot to put this out!

    Several of us had even taste-tested the vinaigrette of walnut oil and balsamic vinegar right before I started making the other dishes, and we put it back in the fridge to sit a while.

    A shame, because it was tasty. It'll be today's lunch. :)

  5. Roasted Onions, Shallots and Leek with Grueyre Croutons
    This was another sort of last-minute, I'll-just-wing-it dish. A good choice.

  6. Cauliflower gratin
    So simple, so delicious. I make this pretty often because it's easy, it's good and the kids will eat it.

I made Parker House rolls brushed with melted butter, chopped fresh rosemary and sea salt.

Yeah, piping-hot, straight from the oven? Pretty good. They were good cold, too, which I discovered when I inhaled one down before making my cinnamon rolls in the wee hours of Christmas morning.

  1. Linzertorte
    I forgot to dust it with confectioner's sugar, but it was pretty good. The almond short crust was especially yummy.

  2. Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte
    Another SIL made this, and after I'd taken the first bite I knew I needed to have the recipe. Again, this was just like the black forest cherry cakes we'd had when we were kids: a not-too-sweet chocolate cake, a chilling made from kirsch and sour cherries (very important), and topped with freshly whipped real whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

    I had two, count 'em, two pieces of leftover cake yesterday.

All in all, a great meal and the best part was when people hung out in the kitchen drinking wine while I puttered around.

The second best part? Lots of leftovers.

Lots of leftover wine, too. :)

Recipes are forthcoming

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