Rouladen, Spätzle, Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage, Cucumber Dill Salad = the fixin’s for a typical German meal that is special enough for any celebration.
As you can guess, I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. I am happy there – buzzing around, testing and re-testing recipes for this blog and to feed my family. But when I get to play in the kitchen with a friend or two, I enjoy it even more.
Last week I spent an afternoon in the kitchen with Valerie Lugonja from the blog A Canadian Foodie. What a fun day – a grown-up play date!
Valerie, a creative force on the Alberta food scene, has started up a new project, called Cooking in the Kitchen with YOU, in which she invites local cooks, chefs, and food bloggers to come into her kitchen and cook one of their favourite dishes with her. We had a fun-filled and very busy day cooking one of my family’s favourite meals. It’s become our tradition to eat Rouladen on Christmas Eve, and of course, these rich and savoury meat rolls need to be served with all the trimmings – Spätzle, Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage, and a crunchy Cucumber Dill Salad.
Head on over to Valerie’s site for the story and my family’s recipes, with step-by-step photos of each of these lip-smacking German dishes.
Fleisch Rouladen – just a few simple ingredients to make these savoury rolls of beef stuffed with bacon, pickles, and onions.
Spätzle (pronounced shpets′-leh) – soft, slightly chewy little noodle dumplings – good with just butter, doused in gravy, or fried up with onions or cheese. (This recipe is not gluten free.)
Rotkohl – sweet and sour, tender braised red cabbage – a tasty and colourful side dish to Rouladen, sausages, or any robust meat.
Gurkensalat – a special technique removes most of the liquid from cucumbers, leaving them extra crispy. Dressed with a little dill, oil, and vinegar, they make a refreshing salad to lighten up any meal. Great for picnics and potlucks, too.
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These dishes are all so tasty, and don’t need to be reserved for Christmas Eve (that’s just our own family’s tradition). Serve them at any time of the year. To make them extra special, serve them with a robust German red wine or one of the famous German beers.
Rouladen, Spätzle, and Rotkohl can all be made ahead and frozen (fully cooked). The Gurkensalat can be made hours ahead, so this meal is wonderful for entertaining. The recipe for Rouladen on my site has amounts for larger crowds – when making Rouladen I like to make a whole bunch at a time, cook them, and freeze them. There’s nothing like being able to pull a fantastic meal out of your freezer on a moment’s notice.
German food is full of rich and savoury flavours, (lots of stick-to-your-ribs cooking) and of course, some pretty amazing baking and delicacies, too.
Have fun in the Küche!
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