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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My German Influences...

Without delving too far into anthropological detail... it suffices that I mention I'm pretty much exactly 50% German.

I suppose that moderates many things in my life, but surprisingly, not my diet.

I mean, I like potatoes... but other than that I'd describe my culinary interests more as French or Italian.

Of course, I wasn't blind, nor immune, to the kitchens of my Mom and her Mom before her (a true German house-Frau if ever there was one)... but the bottom line is that, when I talk about ethnic foods outside of my comfort zone, I'd still have to list German cuisine among them.

So, after having just rambled on about the evil, treacherous waters of 'recipe use', I have to admit that I do sometimes research German food recipes.

As mentioned before, of course, I don't like to follow them by-the-book, but I find my German Cooking by Marianna Olszewska Heberle a great resource, and certainly a good place to start.

Within which is my favourite recipe for Kartoffelnpuffer (Potato Pancakes). Although I never follow this recipe exactly, especially where the spices are concerned, you can see that I nonetheless have this page open when I make my own (grating fresh, new potatoes can be a very messy ordeal).

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Among other alterations, one thing I do with this dish is saute fresh onion and garlic in oil (or butter!) and incorporate this in with the 'wet' ingredients. Mostly because I hate the concept of 'garlic powder', but also to soften these veggies in what is arguably a very textural dish.

Anyway, just today my Mom told me about a dish her Mom used to make, which was essentially German Potato Dumplings. She could not, however, remember the recipe exactly, so we did some research.

This is the main reason for today's post.

She swears they referred to them as simply “Kloessen”... so, dumplings. After poring over some recipes, we found this recipe for “Kartoffel Kloesse” which most closely resembled what she remembered:

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She says that her Mom never boiled them in water, but instead fried them in oil (butter), and she doesn't remember the use of cooked potato. So, perhaps the potatoes were grated, rather than pre-cooked and mashed as they are here?

In any case, these look delicious, and I'm going to try them soon... at which point I'll be certain to include pictures as well as my own tweaks.

1 comment:

  1. sounds pretty close to what I remember ... frying in bacon drippings made them even tastier and of course, many, many calories