Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Good German Meal

One of my favorite shows to watch in the summer is The Next Food Network Star. This year, Jeff Mauro, self-proclaimed 'Sandwich King,' was crowned the winner. He was fun to watch on the show so I decided to start DVRing his show, Sandwich King, on Sunday mornings. On one of his recent shows, he cooked up a tasty looking German meal. With our German roots and Josh's love of German food, I decided to give it a go this week. The menu included schnitzel biscuits topped with braised cabbage and raspberry mayo with warm potato salad on the side. While Ethan looks eager to eat in this picture, he sadly wouldn't try any of it. :(

For the schnitzel (see full recipe here), I bought a pound of regular pork chops (didn't figure I needed an entire pork loin for our small family), soaked them in the brining liquid (3 Tbsp salt, 1 Tbsp sugar and 6 cups water), then cut each one in half and pounded them to the desired thickness. I followed the rest of the directions, dipping them in flour, then egg, then panko breadcrumbs. I let them fry for 3 minutes on each side in a little bit of vegetable oil. They browned a bit more than I would have preferred, but they worked.

I cheated with the buttermilk biscuits. I bought a package from Publix because 1) I love their baked goods and 2) I knew it would save me quite a bit of time. Even with Josh off work this week, I have limited time between feedings of Noah in which to accomplish things, so I try to keep dinnertime as quick and simple as I can so I can eat in peace. :)

The raspberry mayo was easy and a great addition. I used Miracle Whip (about 1/2 cup instead of 1 cup), raspberry preserves (probably 2 Tbsp instead of 1 Tbsp), 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 tsp lemon zest. Looking at the recipe now, I realize I forgot to add 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper. It was good without it though - and I am not a fan of mayo! :)

The braised cabbage was to be added to the sandwich and served on the side as well. I bought a head of red cabbage and sliced it thinly. I melted the 2 Tbsp butter and added in the 1 tsp caraway seeds. Next, I added the cabbage to the butter and cooked until wilted (5 min) as instructed. The next step was to add 3/4 cup apple cider and 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and let it simmer for 15 minutes until soft and supple. I didn't have any cider, so I used apple juice instead. Not sure how this affected the flavor, but Josh wasn't super excited about how the cabbage tasted, so it's probably not something I would make again. I tried one tiny bite and just like any other cabbage I have ever tried, I didn't like it, so I passed on adding it to my sandwich.

The last element was the warm potato salad (see full recipe here). I used about a pound of red potatoes (instead of 2 lbs), scrubbed and quartered. I let these simmer for 15 minutes until tender. While those were cooking, I fried up 8 ounces of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips. Once it was done, I sauteed the onion (1 small yellow onion, diced) in the bacon fat, until golden. Then I added in the 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/3 cup of the cooking water (from the potatoes). I let all this simmer until it thickened slightly (about 10 minutes). After that, I added in the 1 Tbsp of whole grain German mustard, some salt and pepper. I tossed all of that with the potatoes and bacon and it was ready. I left out the 1-1/2 Tbsp of fresh tarragon, because he described it as tasting like black licorice, which I am not a fan of at all. The potato salad was a hit and definitely something I would make again, even if not with this meal.

Here is a pic of the completed plate...

And a close-up of the tasty sandwich...

I loved the combination of the soft biscuit, crunchy schnitzel and creamy mayo. Delicious! If you like German food, you should definitely try these recipes. Let me know what you think. :) Even with the two of us eating, there were enough leftovers for two days for both of us! Definitely a meal I would consider making for company.

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