Saturday, October 15, 2011

Oktoberfest - Heart-warming Sides

A little fingerling potato with a BIG heart at Reading Terminal Market

Sick and tired of salads?  In need of a carb hit?  Then these two hearty German recipes are just the ticket...

Both these side dishes were vacuumed up by our guests at our OktoberFest dinner party last week.  The first is a traditional German Potato Salad, prepared by a genuine Bavarian; the second side is a red cabbage cooked German-style by a friend who is married to a German.  So, our guess is that these two recipes are pretty authentic.

The best thing about these two sides is that they also keep well.  You can store in the fridge for several days or can make in advance, throw in the freezer and use as required. 

German Potato Salad

We ate ours before I could photograph it...This image and the recipe comes from a fellow food blogger, Susi.
A German potato salad is unlike the mayo-laden American version (although we love that too!)  It leans heavily on vinegar, as do many German recipes, but this one leaves out the bacon and is nice and light - although still massively filling.

Ok, so it doesn't look pretty but German food isn't necessarily known for its looks.  Its the combo of flavors and hearty textures that make it unique!
This red cabbage recipe is less sweet than the version that I tend to make. 

I like to throw in apples, honey and a handful of cloves to spice up the proceedings. 

However, it worked well with the salty bratwurst, beer sausage and German salamis we served at our own Philly-style OktoberFest.

Here's the recipe for Braised Red Cabbage German-style, also known as Blaukraut, thanks to Karen Pelzer for providing...


Red Cabbage Recipe
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup of Brown Sugar
¼ Water
¼ cup of White Vinegar – our friend uses a German vinegar called Essig Essence
1 head of Red Cabbage – thinly  sliced
2 Red Delicious Apples - cubed
3 – 4 Bay Leaves

Heat the oil in a dutch oven (Le Creuset – for example).  Add the brown sugar, water and vinegar.  Bring to a quick boil and then turn the mixture down to low.  Add the red cabbage and apples slowly, mixing the cabbage and apples with the vinegar mixture thoroughly every time you add a batch of cabbage and apples.  Once all of the cabbage and apples have been added, add the salt, pepper and bay leaves.  Leave the cabbage on the stove at a low temperature (simmer) for 2 hours or until the cabbage is soft.   Once the cabbage has softened – it is ready to serve. 

Red Cabbage German-style

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