Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Around the World in 80 Plates: Germany
I'm doubling up again today since I am starting to see that I will never leave Europe during Mofo but that's okay. I have a plan. I am loving trying out new things from other cuisines and really getting some good use out of my often ignored cookbooks that I've decided to keep it up past the end of Mofo. I won't be keeping the post a day pace but I am planning on a few a month til I really do make it around the world.
I googled German cuisine and found something that sounded interesting to me...Currywurst. I have been on a canning bender and have taken to making homemade ketchup since Mac seems to think it's its own food group. Part of the process is straining out all the pulp from the ketchup to get it closer to what we are used to from the supermarket. I was straining away and looking at all the perfectly tasty tomato I was going to have to throw out and I felt super wasteful. I decided to hang onto it and make some tomato sauce or something later in the week with it. Then I found Currywurst with it's curry laced ketchup sauce and realized it would be the perfect place to use up some of that pulp. I used this recipe that I found online and just substituted my leftover ketchup pulp for the canned tomatoes. It is definitely my new favourite ketchup! I already love curry powder and ketchup, I just never thought to put them together. Move over curry mayo, there's a new favourite condiment in this house! I used some Tofurky Beer Brats as my wurst and they were a hit!
Another German treat that I was looking forward to trying was Lebkucken. I found it while Googling and thought that everyone in my house would love them. Kiddo loves spice cookies and this cookie even had icing. Double win in his books! I read through what seemed like 100 recipes for it and they all differed in one way or another, whether it be method or ingredients but settled on one that was recommended from an old high school friend's mother who is German after some frantic "help me!" Facebook requests. I spent a day searching Ottawa for the elusive oblaten (small wafers you bake the cookies on) and finally found them at Swiss Pastries at Carlingwood. They are described online as similar to communion wafers which I have never tried but my mom agreed. You actually spread the cookie batter on them and bake them right on and it keeps them from sticking to the pan and also adds a different texture and taste to the cookie. I can't really put my finger on it but we all like it. The cookies are spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and all those other tasty gingerbread like spices and has ground almonds and candied lemon peel in there too. Once they are baked you glaze them with a cooked sugar icing that when dry adds a nice crunch to the outside of the cookie while the inside is soft and cakey (or kucken-y). They are really quite yummy and I can see why they have survived the test of time (they have been made since the 14th century!!!). It says on the recipe that they keep for several weeks but no way they last that long around here...heck we just ate one for breakfast!
To veganize the recipe, I simply used EB sticks for the butter, Ener-G egg replacer for the 4 eggs (2 tbsp mixed with 1/2 cup warm water) and soy milk for the milk, otherwise I followed it to the tee. So simple!