Monday, March 31, 2008

the best fake german dinner ever

Okay, so Matthew and I love German food. I have a great and very authentic german food cookbook but the recipes are often time consuming, although scrumptious. Last monday, I made a random cauliflower casserole with ham and swiss cheese but i didn't bake it until wednesday or thursday. Anyway, I thought it needed a bit more to go with it so I made a delicious pork roll with paprika and parsley. After I had that in the oven, I realized that the pork would taste delicious with some red cabbage, so for this I took an actual, authentic recipe from my german food cookbook. Anyway, by the end of it all, I had a delicious, but not not very authentic german meal and a very late dinner. Probably it tasted so good because we were starving.

Cauliflower casserole
1 head cauliflower cut into bit size pieces
1-2 cups chopped ham
a cup of swiss cheese, grated
2 cups white sauce*
a few tablespoons thyme leaves(a total pain, but well worth it)
a couple tablespoons ground nuts(I'm not sure what I had in the freezer, almonds or hazelnuts, I think)
salt and pepper to taste

Layer half of the ingredients into a dish, in this order:
cauliflower, salt and pepper, ham, cheese, thyme, white sauce, nuts. Then repeat. you can save a little extra cheese for the top if you want. I ended up cooking mine for way too long and I forgot to take the lid off during cooking. But it was still incredibly delicious. Anyway, cook at about 350 or 375 for 40-50 min. You can cook it longer if the cauliflower doesn't feel done. And you can take the lid off, or not depending on if you want it soupier or not. Mine was a total soup but so so good.

Pork roll
cut a pork loin into a nice sheet of meat. Then, salt and pepper it and sprinkle tons of paprika on it(probably use a tablespoon or more), then sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over it and finally lay thin slices or garlic all over the top with about 1/2-1 inch between each slice of garlic. Then roll tightly and tie with string.
brown roll on all sides in an oven proof pan and bake along with the casserole.

Just use any jarred red cabbage or find a sweet and sour cabbage recipe.

* Okay, so my white sauce is always just thrown together on the fly. I don't have exact recipes for all the different amounts you might need, like my grandmother has. Also, I don't buy milk so I always end up using almond breeze or buttermilk.
So, my rough recipe for white sauce
Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan. whisk in a sprinkle of flour and keep sprinkling and whisking it in until it makes a bubbly paste. Pour in milk or almond breeze(usually about two cups) until it looks right, which is to say, until it looks thicker than regular milk. I don't know, just spend years watching your grandmother make white sauce and you'll know how it should look. Then cook the sauce over medium-low heat, all the while whisking it until it thickens. You can salt and pepper the sauce if you want.

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