Decadently rich and creamy with a nice sauerkraut tang!
Potatoes and sauerkraut are a great combination. Potatoes are paired with sauerkraut often. On New Year’s Day the tradition where I grew up was to have roast pork, sauerkraut, and creamy mashed potatoes. It’s said to bring good luck to the coming year.
Sweet and spicy paprika adds great depth of flavor to this stew. photo © New German Cooking
I love this dish in late fall and winter. It is a great warming dish that is perfect for cold nights. I’ve been eating this for as long as I can remember. The best I’ve ever had was at a German restaurant near where I grew up called the Alpenhof.
Shredded cabbage, salt, and spices ready for the crock.
Fermentation is an exercise in transforming food into something completely different and exceptionally tasty. Sauerkraut, sausages, and more are all fermented foods that have undergone a transition into something new. Originally this was done as a method of preservation. Now it lives on through tradition and a culture’s love of taste. Cabbage takes on a completely new flavor and texture due to the fermentation process which is inhibited by the salt and the resulting brine it forms as the water is leeched out of the cabbage. Natural bacterias present in the vegetable are at play here. Don’t worry though, this bacteria is an example of a beneficial microorganism that overpowers any unwarranted bacterias and transforms the raw cabbage into a delicious food. It’s also healthy to boot! Continue reading
Cabbage Rolls ready for the oven.
Cabbage, the food of winter. Many Central and Eastern European cultures feature cabbage all throughout the winter. It’s hardy, nutritious, and extremely versatile. Think of everything you can do with it. It stores very well, which is why so many cultures have thrived on it. You can ferment it to make sauerkraut or even kim chee. You can braise it, pickle it, stuff it, etc. The possibilities are endless. Here is an influence to the neighbors to the north and east with meat stuffed cabbage rolls. In northern Germany the cabbage rolls are typically served with a beef broth unlike the Polish and Eastern European countries that serve it in a sweet tomato sauce. We’ve adapted this to add bacon and beer. What’s not to love!
Cooking with beer is something we do a lot of.
We use it to braise, to marinate, in sauces, vinaigrettes, reductions, and even desserts. I think beer’s versatility is as great as wine. There is so many flavors of beer out there to play with. There’s dry hoppy ales, sweet and strong beers, wheat beers, crisp lagers, and everything from light to super dark.
Every week we develop an a la carte menu as well as the Chef’s Tasting menu using what products that are available to us and what’s in season. Here’s a look at this week’s features.
Here’s a link to our weekly menu!
Daily Features 10.12.2011
Creating a sausage. We have developed countless varieties of sausage over the years. Everything from venison with pomegranate, duck and brandy, several different bratwursts, smoked sausages, salamis, etc.. The list goes on and on. This time we’re making a Bierkäsewurst, a beer and cheese sausage. This is going to be developed for our fall menu which we’re currently working on. It will most likely make its debut during an event that I will be a guest chef at. Five chefs, five different sausages. Sounds like a plan to me! Here are some photos and a recipe for you if you’re brave enough to take on sausage making!
When we develop our sausage recipes we always start with pork shoulder and pork back fat. First we cube the pork and fat into approximately one inch squares and weigh it. Once we get the total weight we place it in the freezer. We leave it in the freezer until it’s partially frozen. This prevents the meat from getting too warm and smearing in the grinder, resulting in an unpalatable sausage.
When I started this site I was looking for an outlet to promote German cuisine in a different light. Are we reinventing the wheel? No, we’re just polishing it up a bit inspired by the food and flavors of Germany. Understanding the classics is the foundation to creating new ideas.
I’ve been surrounded by German food most of my life. Growing up in Berks County, about an hour and a half drive from Philadelphia, I was exposed to not only German food, but Pennsylvania German food as well. Berks County has a huge German influence going back to the settlers who were mostly farmers from the area that is now the Rhineland in Germany. They brought their traditional foods with them that have lived on for generations in the Pennsylvania countryside. In addition to this there was a more recent German migration in the 1950′s. With this, a whole new influence of German food came. There was and still is many German restaurants, private clubs, butchers, and more in this region. One of the German clubs, the Liederkranz where I spent a few years learning German food and eventually running the kitchen, has been around since 1885.
Now, as the chef at Brauhaus Schmitz, I have been cooking German food as well as new dishes based on traditional flavors. Within this website you will find recipes, information on commonly used foods, links, and more. I look forward to showing you some of our food. Welcome to New German Cooking, my way.
Autumn is my favorite time of year. The end of summer. Vacations are over. The weather is much more pleasant, especially here in southeastern Pennsylvania. The farmers’ markets start filling up with great tomatoes, fall fruits, amazing mushrooms, potatoes, and all sorts of preserves from the summers’ harvest. Strolling through the Headhouse Farmer’s Market today in Philadelphia was great! A misty rain was falling as we approached but luckily the farmers’ market is under a pavilion that was packed with folks looking for the best produce the farmers have to offer.
At the start of the market was the Renaissance Sausage truck and a taco stand serving some amazing Tacos Al Pastor carved from an upright rotisserie with a pineapple on top. This time we decided to have some sausage sandwiches. House made beef and lamb sausage sandwich with hummus and topped with a cucumber sauce, onions, and tomatoes and a chicken and sage sausage with apple butter were in order. The kids enjoyed the chicken sausage with the sweet apple butter and Jess and I loved the Mediterranean sausage!
As we perused what the market had to offer we finally settled on what we were going to cook for dinner. We picked up some nice chard, some heirloom potatoes and tomatoes, a bunch of mixed radishes, and some apples and pears.
We had a chicken at home so we decided to roast the chicken in a clay cooker with the potatoes and glaze it with some apple cider. Here’s the recipe here!
We sliced up the heirloom tomato and made a nice little salad with it. I took the chard and roughly chopped it and sauteed that with a little sliced onions and some garlic. Add some cider to that and you have a great early Autumn side dish. That and Eagles football sums up a great fall day for us!
To celebrate the start of fall I always go to an orchard with the wife and kids for some apple picking. It’s a lot of fun for the kids to pick their own apples and the produce we come home with is even better. We can come up with so many different ways to use it. This year we picked a few varieties of apples and some white peaches. Our bounty included Jonagold, Honeycrisp, and Golden Delicious apples as well as some really nice white peaches. To our surprise, Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA was having an arts and crafts festival. There is already so much to do there but this time there was an added bonus! There was live music, vendors selling arts and crafts, and many different types of food. We bought some apple cider to take home, some apple cider slushies for the kids, some nice apple cider doughnuts, and some apple butter. Fall is my favorite time of year. This is one of many reasons why I love it! Here is one great way to welcome Autumn with a light and refreshing salad.
Celery Root and Apple Salad with Toasted Walnut Vinaigrette