German cuisine

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SekoETC
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German cuisine

Postby SekoETC » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:27 pm

Would someone like to help me with a school project? I and someone else need to design a German menu and it must be turned in Monday. I agreed with my work partner that I would search for recipes for the meat dish, the soup and salad buffet, and she would search for the fish dish, vegetarian and dessert. I've done some googling but I haven't decided anything final yet. Oh, and we agreed that we'd have our own halves done by Friday so we can decide if they're okay or if it still needs some work done over the weekend.

German potato salad seems like the most likely candidate for "foody" salad, and the rest of the salad buffet doesn't necessarily need much planning since the menu is used on a Friday, and generally there are always leftovers in the fridge that get served in the buffet table. I found a recipe for a green salad that uses spinach, cucumber and radish, are those considered common ingredients for a salad? It also had cottage cheese but if we had that, we'd have to serve it separately because some people have allergies.

For meat dish I've considered frikadellen or cabbage rolls, but I'm open to other suggestions. What complicates things is that the main course goes out on plates so it would have to look nice, and cabbage rolls aren't very pretty. Josh suggested pig knuckles but people might find those too weird, so it would be rather risky. I'd rather have something that can be made to look like it could be served in a good restaurant and attractive enough to compete with the fish dish, what ever that's going to be. The students are mainly teachers and some pensioners who come every day. The pensioners eat anything and usually everything but the teachers often prefer fish since they know it's much cheaper than it would be in a classy restaurant. For example this looks very pretty.

What about the soup then?
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Re: German cuisine

Postby Ronja Rotschopf » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:27 pm

SekoETC wrote: I found a recipe for a green salad that uses spinach, cucumber and radish, are those considered common ingredients for a salad? It also had cottage cheese but if we had that, we'd have to serve it separately because some people have allergies.

At least in my family or region spinach isn't a common ingredient for a salad.

SekoETC wrote:What about the soup then?


My favorite soups are chicken soup (certainly not typical german) and potato soup (Kartoffelsuppe)
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Re: German cuisine

Postby Piscator » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:32 am

Yeah. We usually see spinach only in its shreddered, deep frozen form. :) Not ideal for salads.

If you're looking for a light salad, you should consider making a cucumber salad (Gurkensalat). There are not many dishes that qualify both as "light" and "German", but I think this is one of them. Potato salad would indeed be a good candidate for a more filling salad, but you should be aware that there's no such thing as "the" German potato salad. I can think of six different recipes on the spot; of which half could be considered traditional. But I guess "a" German potato salad is probably good enough. ;)

Frikadellen are a good idea since they are easy to make and go well with potato salad. Cabbage rolls take a lot more preparation (we made some this Saturday by the way) and it's always tricky to keep the cabbage leaf from unwrapping. You either have to use toothpicks or cotton yarn (which you have to remove again) or be very, very careful. It's also quite difficult to remove the individual leaves from the cabbage head and not to miss the moment when they are soft enough to roll, but still firm enough to not disintegrate later on. I don't know if you made cabbage rolls before, but I wouldn't recommend it if you didn't.

Königsberger Klopse (meat balls in caper sauce) would be another option for a typical German meat dish, but I wouldn't recommend it either as it also takes some practice and many people have an aversion against capers. Many recipes also contain fish.

Kassler with sauerkraut would be a good idea, but I doubt that you can get the Kassler, which is a kind of specially prepared salt pork. The same problem applies to various kinds of sausage, I assume.

Soups are a bit of a problem as most of the German soups would rather classify as stews, but if that's fine, you have a wide range of options. Potato soup and pea soup can be considered classics, and I'd also consider soups made from (green) beans, lentils, pearl barley or carrots sufficiently ethnic. ;)
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Re: German cuisine

Postby SekoETC » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:53 am

My teacher also suggested kassler with sauerkraut so at the moment it seems we're going to roll with that. I'm not sure if the kassler we have here is similar to what you have there. It's served with a side of fried apples, and my teacher also suggested beer sauce.

Image

Yeah, I remember the first year when we had tutors, one of them said that boiling cabbage and peeling away the leaves at the right moment is the most irritating thing he has had to do in the kitchen. Some people have done it but I don't think anyone would look forward to doing it.

For the soup we picked bratwurst sauerkraut soup. I felt a bit iffy about having sauerkraut in two courses but the teacher said it would be okay since it fits a theme, and not everybody eats soup anyway. They've tested the recipe earlier, so it's apparently a good one.

There seem to be tons of different recipes for potato salad, so I wonder if I'll be able to pick a good one.

I wonder what my work partner will come up with. Finding a fish dish might be more difficult than meat.
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Re: German cuisine

Postby KAOS » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:45 pm

I'm German, but very bad at cooking, so I doubt I can give you good advice.. :wink:

As fish dish I personally like Heringstipp mit Pellkartoffeln, but I'm not sure if it's too simple for your project - it's herring in a sour cream sauce with apple and onion, and Pellkartoffeln, boiled potatoes which are served unpeeled.
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Re: German cuisine

Postby Piscator » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:48 pm

Yes, that's what went through my mind too. Germany is not exactly a fish country. In the mainland you traditionally either got salted herring or the local freshwater fish to work with, but most of the latter don't make good restaurant food. If you can't come up with a good idea, just make some sea fish in beer batter. That's not particularly German, but at least it contains beer which should be enough of a qualification as far as the outside world is concerned. ^^

Kassler with fried apples sounds weird, but that may only be my personal preference. I don't like fruit with hearty meals (no, I don't count tomatoes as fruit). I never heared of this combination before nevertheless.

I also not really certain if I ever heard of a sauerkraut and bratwurst soup, let alone ate one, but I guess the point of the exercise is to create a course that appears German to foreigners, rather than Germans.
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Re: German cuisine

Postby SekoETC » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:01 pm

I'm sure it'll fool them well enough. :twisted:
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Re: German cuisine

Postby SekoETC » Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:56 pm

I started wondering, do you generally eat lettuce at all? Here it's a staple so we have it in the salad buffet every day but today there was only a tiny bit of lettuce and lots of good other stuff, so apparently it's not essential as long as there's enough other stuff. On Fridays there's always leftovers from the week, so it shouldn't be hard to fill the buffet.
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Re: German cuisine

Postby Ronja Rotschopf » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:26 pm

SekoETC wrote:I started wondering, do you generally eat lettuce at all?


:D Yes, we do.


Will you get feedback afterwards? I would be interested in it, especially regarding the soup.
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Re: German cuisine

Postby SekoETC » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:27 pm

Sometimes customers send compliments when they like something but they rarely mention if they don't. Today they gathered feedback on paper and most of the comments were positive except the soup I made today was bland. Maybe we could also make a feedback quiz when the day comes.
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