I’m counting Friday Night Bites, Oktoberfest Edition as Part 3… in case you are wondering. 🙂
Now that you’ve caught up… let’s get to some more German food, shall we?
On Wednesday, time ran out on me… happens all the time. So I only had enough time to make a cucumber salad and another loaf of pumpernickel/wheat swirl (w/ caraway seeds) bread. Since I use the handy dandy ABin5 method for the bread, dinner was ready in under an hour…
I made the cucumber salad using this recipe… I used European cucumbers (aka. seedless cucumbers) so that I wouldn’t have to peel them. I let them set for about a half hour, as directed… the parsley was a tiny bit strong, but mellowed out overnight. In the future, I’ll make this one the day before… but overall, we liked it. 🙂
On Thursday, I ended up being in the kitchen for several hours… that being the case, I was a little rushed by the time I started making dinner. The Pfeffernüsse Cookies took a bit of time, but turned out perfectly! 🙂
For dinner, I had an idea come to me…
My taste-tester and I have gone to a couple of German restaurants over the years, but one in particular stands out as a crowd favorite. We invited my in-laws to this restaurant on a couple of occasions, and all of us were impressed with the food. And they all agreed (having all been to Germany) that this was indeed good German food. I haven’t lived in that area for about 5 years… so it’s been a while since we’ve gotten to eat that wonderful food. Also, even though my taste-tester and I were vegetarians at the time, we were still in a phase of being ‘social carnivores’. Today, I’m not sure that I’d be able to find much on the menu that fits into my dietary lifestyle.
For Thursday’s dinner, I decided to try to capture something I miss from those visits at that awesome German restaurant… Jaeger Schnitzel, sans the schnitzel. 😉 What that basically means is, I wanted to make that dark sauce with mushrooms, hunter’s sauce (jaeger = hunter), and pour it over mashed potatoes! 😀 I started out with this recipe from Wolfgang Puck, and then adapted the heck out of it to make it vegan. It turned out tasty, but I plan to tweak it a bit further today. It was a bit thin, and since I did not toss out the stock veggies, it was a bit veggie heavy where I wanted more gravy. Not a problem though, I’ll just make more sauce, add the leftovers and then let the flavors meld together… it should be great.
Here’s what I did yesterday…
from Wolfgang Puck
adapted and veganized by nic – the auspicious squirrel
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot (or several baby), sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
salt and pepper (go light on the salt if using cooking wine)
1 tsp. thyme, dried
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 cups red wine (I used 1 cup cooking wine, 1 cup water)
1 cup vegetable stock (I used 1 – 1 1/2 tsp. better than bouillon vegetable base + 1 cup warm water)
1 ounce margarine
1 (8 oz) pkg baby bella mushrooms, sliced
mashed potatoes, as an accompaniment
- In a heavy saute pan, heat a swirl of olive oil over high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, salt & pepper; saute for a few minutes.
- Add thyme, bay leaf, and parsley… add wine and continue to cook until reduced by half.
- Meanwhile, in another saute pan, heat about 1 ounce oil and margarine. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute until golden.
- To the onion mixture, add the stock and lower to a simmer, and cook until veggies are crisp-tender.
- Add the mushrooms to the sauce, simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
* A change I would make… would be to double the liquids, and then strain the onion mixture to separate out the wine sauce, then make a rue (oil and flour) and slowly add that sauce to make a gravy… then return the onion mixture and mushrooms to the sauce… making a thicker gravy that is still full of veggies to pour over the mashed potatoes. 🙂
For the mashed potatoes, I did something very similar to this recipe. I was unable to find yukon gold potatoes at the store I ran to for the mushrooms, so I picked up russet… that being said, it is my opinion that yukon make a better mashed potato, whereas, russets make better baked potatoes. There was a time when I only knew of two kinds of potatoes; russet and sweet, so obviously, I won’t be the first (or the last) to make mashed potatoes with russets, but I’m a fan of the texture yukons bring to mashed potatoes.
For the homemade bread, I took out some pumpernickel dough, gently flattened it out with my hands (in the air), then liberally sprinkled caraway seeds all over one side, then rolled it up (like yummy bread or cinnamon rolls), then baked as directed. 🙂
Tonight’s dinner will be leftovers with an updated jaeger sauce plus (hopefully) a veggie goulash. 🙂
Until next time…