In addition to sampling the Hop Whore this past weekend, I also did some cooking. I decided to return to my exploration of German cooking and made Graupeneintopf (Baked Barley Casserole) and Apfelbettelmann (Beggarman's Apple).
Since Becca and Stevie would be eating with The Dulcinea and me, I whipped us some appetizers. I bought a small jar of pickled herring, boiled some shrimp & made cocktail sauce, and made some Kase "mit Musik" (Cheese "with Music").
To make the Kase "mit Musik", I started by marinating some Swiss cheese in olive oil, vinegar, and pepper. The slices sat in the frig for a few hours before being patted down a bit and put on a plate. Technically you should use big slices of cheese that fit on a slice of bread and eat with a knife & fork but I had smaller pieces of cheese and a mini-loaf of cocktail pumpernickel bread suitable for fingers.
Here's how to eat it:
1) Butter a slice of pumpernickel.
2) Lay a slice of cheese atop the bread.
3) Sprinkle some minced onion on the cheese.
As I prepped the Graupeneintopf, I found that we were out of salt so I had to grind up some really coarse sea salt that I had in my mortar & pestle. Graupeneintopf is a very simple dish. First you saute some finely diced onion and celery in butter. I deviated a little bit and used half butter and half lard. Then you add your meat of choice. In this case, it was ground beef.
Let the beef cooking a few minutes and throw in your barley, a few cups of stock, and some tomato puree. Season. Then throw in the oven. It'll dry up on ya so I added more stock after about 45 mintues. This is what I got in the end:
It's not a fancy dish, by any means, but it was a good hearty meal on a chilly fall day. Oh, and I fried up some spuds.
Then there was the Apfelbettelmann for dessert. It's akin to apple crisp but, instead of oats, there's pumpernickel bread crumbs. Since these were unavailable at Woodman's, I made them myself. They formed the crust along with sugar, and booze. So you layer things in the pan: crust, apple slices, rum-soaked raisins, and then grapes. Once all the strata are in place, I threw a generous number of bits of butter on top and threw it into the oven.
And here's the final product, two-thirds eaten.
With the weather turning, I look forward to huddling 'round the hearth more often.