First allow me to apologize for my very lengthy absence from The Reportery. What was meant to be a few week hiatus so I could focus on the conference turned into accepting a new job, dealing with my new daily commute to San Francisco and getting my life in order. That being said..
Christmas. How is it over? I am pretty much ignoring that there is one day left of December and continue to put my Christmas lights on every night when I get home. Eventually I will have to get rid of them but till that fateful day of lets say Jan 9th I refuse.
This year was a huge success! My family comes from many (try 7) different cultures so I try to pay tribute to them during the holidays. This year German won and I have to say it was one of the best Christmas dinners I’ve made in a long time. It reminded me of my grandma’s house and my mother said it was like going back to her childhood. All in all extremely happy with it. Christmas dinner can be anything you like, I have many friends who make turkey, others who prefer ham. Some that do fish or others beef. Some dinners are fancy, some incredibly easy. It’s whatever you think your family would enjoy, because that is what the holidays are for – loved ones.
Smörgåsbord of Deliciousness
Bread: Rye, Pumpernickel & Soft Pretzel Bread
Meats: Garlic Chicken Sausages, Bratwurst, Chicken Truffle Pate
Sauces: Grainy Mustard, Beer Cheese Spread & Dill Dip
Veggies: Radishes, Celery, Carrots
German Beer Cheese Spread
16 ounces (454) sharp cheddar cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1½ teaspoons yellow mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup German beer (or non-alcoholic beer if you don’t drink or are pregnant!)
Place the cubed cheese in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, about 10 pulses. Add the worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper to the cheese and begin to process.
While processing, pour the beer through the feed tube in a steady stream and process until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency, about 30 to 45 seconds. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
½-¾ cup mayonnaise (taste as you add it)
1 cup sour cream
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon dill weed
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Pork Schnitzel with Sauce
8 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons milk
2 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 cup vegetable oil or 1-2 sticks of butter (I use butter, but feel free to fry in oil)
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
4 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1 cup sour cream
Place the pork chops between two sheets of wax paper and pound to around 1/8 inch thick. Trim any fat from the edges, and make a few small slits along the edge to prevent the pork from curling during cooking. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl. Whisk the egg and milk together in another shallow bowl until well blended, then mix the bread crumbs and paprika together in a third shallow bowl. Dredge the pork chops in the flour mixture one at a time, then dip them into the egg mixture followed by the breadcrumb mixture. Heat butter or oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange no more than two pork chops in the skillet at a time, cooking until the meat is golden brown no longer pink in the center, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Place the pork chops in a warm oven to keep warm. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet used to cook the pork. Reduce the heat to low, and scrape up any brown bits in the bottom of the pan. As the stock simmers, mix the dill and sour cream together in a bowl. Whisk about 1/4 cup of the hot stock into the sour cream mixture, then pour it back into the skillet. Heat until warm and thick, about 5 minutes. Serve with the pork chops.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
4 large whole eggs
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 pinches freshly ground white pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine or bacon fat
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Mix together flour, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Beat eggs well, and add alternately with the milk to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. The dough will be shiny and slightly sticky, do not be alarmed when it doesn’t look like traditional dough. It needs to be soft and pliable to run through the späetzle maker.
The späetzle maker, which you can buy online or at Sur La Table, should be placed over salted water that has been brought to a boil. Fill the little compartment about half way and move it back and forth over the grater. The späetzle will fall into the water and begin to cook. Make sure to get all the dough in as quickly as possible so there is an even cook time. Cook 5 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Saute cooked späetzle in butter or margarine or bacon fat. Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on top.
German Green Beans with Vinaigrette
2 pounds green beans, stem ends trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Fill a large bowl with ice water; set aside. Place green beans, stem ends trimmed, in basket. Cover; steam until crisp-tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Plunge beans in ice water. When cool, drain; pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl. In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake extra-virgin olive oil, white-wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, coarse salt, and ground pepper until thickened and combined. Pour over beans; toss to coat. Serves 8.
Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon
6 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. sugar
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1⁄3 cup port
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
1 large head red cabbage (about 3 lbs.), cored and finely shredded
2 cups Chicken Stock
1⁄4 cup red currant jelly
Cook bacon in a large wide pot over medium-high heat until just crisp, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds more. Add onions and salt and pepper and cook, stirring
occasionally, until onions are golden and soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in apples, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until tender, 6–8 minutes. Add port, vinegar, and cabbage to the onion–apple mixture; stir to combine. Cover the pot and cook until cabbage is bright purple and slightly wilted, 5–7 minutes. Add stock and salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until cabbage is tender but still red, about 1 1⁄4 hours. Stir in red currant jelly, season with more salt and pepper, and cook briefly, 4–5 minutes more. Serves 8.
Apple Strudel + Bourbon Eggnog Shots
1 package of puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed in room temperature
2-3 baking apples (I use golden delicious and cortland)
2Tb white sugar
½C chopped or ground nuts, walnut or almond
3Tb light brown sugar
2Tb white sugar
2Tb bread crumbs
1 egg with 1tsp water beaten for brushing
Preheat you oven to 375ºF. Peel, core, and chop apples into ½” cubes. You will need total 2 cups of chopped apples. Place them in a bowl and add cinnamon, white sugar, and flour. Set aside for 20 minutes so they can release the juices.In another bowl combine nuts, sugars, and bread crumbs. Set aside. Roll out one sheet of pastry into about 10″x12″. Sprinkle ½ of nut mixture on the pastry covering halfway and place ½ of apples on top. Lift up the front side of pastry and cover the apple and start rolling all the way. Finish the other sheet in the same method. Pinch the ends of each logs and tuck under. Transfer them on to baking sheet with parchment paper on it, seam side down. Brush the top with egg wash. Make a few slits on top for the steam to escape. Bake at 375F for 40-45 minutes until the crust gets nicely golden brown.
Wishing you all a fantastic 2015!
– The Reportery