German food in a non-German house

Well, at least I’m not going to drone on and on about my sourdough bread starter.

Ever since the whole Corona virus thing pretty much shut down the country, people have been going crazy about making sourdough bread or sourdough bread starters and, for the life of me, I can’t understand why.

I mean, I guess sourdough bread is OK but why is everyone making it now? Is there some sort of sourdough bread cult out there luring unsuspecting, bored homebound people into their evil, yeast invested web?

Wine during a quarantine I get. But sourdough bread? Not so much.

So, no I’m not going to drone on and on about sourdough bread. Instead I’m going to drone on and on about German food.

And perhaps beer. And wine.

Several months ago, we discovered an on-line food deliver company at www.goldbelly.com.

Basically what they do at Goldbelly is arrange food deliveries from well-known restaurants and companies all across the country. What that means is, without leaving our home, we can order food from some of our favorite cities and restaurants.

Since discovering Goldbelly we’ve had lobster rolls from McLoon’s Lobster Shack in South Thomaston, Maine; seafood gumbo from Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, Louisiana; Key Lime Pie on a Stick from Kermitt’s Key West Lime Shoppe in Key West, Florida; a low country shrimp steamer from Topsail Steamer in Surf City, North Carolina and most recently Chicago-style hot dogs from Vienna Beef Dogs in Chicago, Illinois and Bavarian soft pretzels from the Milwaukee Pretzel Company in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

It’s neat is what it is.

Two weekends ago when our Chicago dogs and Bavarian pretzels were delivered my wife and I opted to have quasi German-style Saturday lunch even though we figured the hot dogs were probably more of Chicago-style lunch but what the heck it takes a village, right?

This past Saturday my wife and I decided to try a more authentic German-style lunch.

So, on Saturday I made a warm German potato salad in the kitchen while my wife whipped up a pot of homemade sauerkraut in our outdoor kitchen.

shot of lee's homemade sauerkraut coming together
While I was inside working on the potato salad my wife was outside working on the sauerkraut. Social distancing and all that.
pic of cooking onions for german potato salad
Here I’m browning red onion for the German potato salad. Note the bacon in the top corner. Bacon be good.

Once the potato salad was done, I let it simmer on the stove and went outside and tossed  some German-style bratwursts on the grill. I let the brats cook for about 15 minutes and then I plopped them into a pan of just barely boiling beer for another 10 more minutes and before you can say Angela Merkel we were eating.

bratwurst on the grill
Brats on the grill. Need I say more? I think not.
picture of a german lunch
Here is our German lunch from last weekend. Oh wait! That’s a picture of an actual German lunch we had in actual German. Sorry.
a picture of the German lunch we fixed this past weekend.
Here is the German lunch we fixed last weekend. I know, I know Saint Pauli Girl is not actually a German beer but it’s what I had on hand.

Of course, because my wife never made a charcuterie board she didn’t like we didn’t just have a German-style lunch on Saturday. We also had a German-style charcuterie board for dinner Saturday night featuring a Bavarian pretzel, leftover bratwurst, some bacon, a few cheeses, homemade pickles, some fruit, homemade dill pickles and German mustard.

Oh and beer. And  wine.

Das ist gut, is what ist das.

shot of the charcuterie tray my wife made
Here is the German-style charcuterie tray my wife made. By the way I suspect the only reason my wife likes charcuterie trays is because she knows how hard it is for me to spell charcuterie.

 

Recipes

 

Since I had never whipped up a batch of German potato salad I decided to use this recipe from www.cookingclassy.com. It made for a dark and flavorful salad that is just a good cold as it is warm. It be good is what it be.

Ingredients

  • 2 red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes (each about the same size for even cooking)
  • 6slices bacon, chopped
  • 2cups chopped red onion
  • 2tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2cup chicken broth
  • 1/4cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2tsp granulated sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place red potatoes on a steamer basket* set in a pot with about 1 1/2-inches of water. Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  2. Cover pot with a snug lid and let steam until potatoes are tender, about 20 – 25 minutes (test for doneness by piercing potatoes through center with a knife, it should glide through). Set aside to cool just until warm enough to cut into chunks.
  3. While potatoes are steaming, cook bacon in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp (about 6 – 7 minutes). Remove bacon, set aside and leave drippings in skillet.
  4. Add onions to skillet with drippings and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
  5. Pour in chicken broth, vinegar, Dijon mustard and sugar. Bring to liquid to a simmer and let reduce by about half for a minute or two.
  6. Add chopped potatoes, bacon and olive oil and toss. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Remove from heat, toss in parsley. Serve warm (or see notes to serve chilled). If mixture seems to be just slightly dry you can either toss in a little more olive oil or chicken broth.

Recipe Notes

  • *If you don’t own a steamer basket potato can also be cooked in water. To do so:
  • Place potatoes in a large pot  and cover with water by an inch or two. Season water with salt (about  1 Tbsp). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are just tender all the way through, about 10 – 15 minutes (they should pierce easily with a knife, but you also don’t want them really tender/mushy). 
  • So you know, we purchased the potatoes for the salad  Saturday morning at the Wilson Farm’s Greenhouse on Farmer’s Market stand on the Square in Carthage. The bacon we purchased at Cloud’s Meat Processing in Carthage and I picked up the bratwurst at Cramer’s Meat in Joplin.
  • The pickle cucumbers in my wife’s pickle recipe also came from Wilson Farm’s Greenhouse

 

Lee’s Homemade Sauerkraut

Ingredients:

4 slices of thick bacon – chopped

1-2 Tbsp of Dijon Mustard

1 ½ Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard

1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic

½ red onion, copped

1 Tbsp sugar

1 bag tri color coleslaw

1 bottle Bud Light Lime

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

In a cast iron pot, drizzle about 3 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Add the chopped bacon and cook until done, but not crispy.  Add whole grain mustard, garlic, mustard, onions and sugar.  Mix and cook about 2 minutes.  Add the entire bag of coleslaw mix and stir.  Add one bottle of Bud Light Lime.  Stir, cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the slaw cooks down.  Then lower heat and cook about 20-30 more minutes.  You can add your sausages or brats at this time if you wish and cook longer to mingle the flavors.

 

Lee’s Homemade Pickled Cucumbers and Onions

 

Ingredients:

Garden pickling cucumbers

Half a red onion – sliced and cut in half

Mizkan Rice Vinegar

1 Tbsp sugar

Flatiron Pepper Co. Sweet Heat peppers

About ½ tsp Celery Seed

Cracked pepper

 

Slice the cucumbers and cut the red onion slices in half.  Layer the cucumbers and onions and pack tightly.  Cover with celery seed, sugar and cracked pepper.  Cover with Mizkan Rice Vinegar.  Cover tightly and shake vigorously.   Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours – better if overnight.  Lasts for several days.  I use a glass jar with screw top lid for this little number.