52 Weeks in Germany. Week Einundfünfzig (fifty-one)
This week, we’re switching gears from our originally planned recipe from the Hasenpfeffer. Instead, we are taking advantage of the produce that we’ve received from our CSA. Because, belonging to one, you often get produce that you’re not used to working with. Or for us, produce we typically avoid purchasing or, for that matter, growing in the garden. So, for the final two German dishes we’re going to focus on vegetables that we’ve received from our CSA. These are vegetables that are readily available in the supermarket. Turnips are not a common vegetable that our family normally purchases, so we sought out a German recipe that features the turnip. The recipe is found in The German Cookbook, by Mimi Sheraton, page 293.
Probably my closest associated memory that links Germany and turnips was from a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. some twenty years ago. During the early stages of the rise of the Third Reich, there was a dwelling you could walk through and in one, the Jewish family only had a turnip with which to subsist on. As you walked past the stove, in a large skillet was a single turnip. That has always stayed with me.
We have used turnips pretty sparingly in the previous 50 plus weeks through Germany. The only other time we had used this ingredient was part of the pot vegetables used for making German soups. The author advised limited use for these in this case because it tended to assert itself in the finished soup.
But in this dish, the turnip is the featured ingredient. The previous owner of The German Cookbook that I purchased off Amazon had earmarked this page, so it is quite possibly an old family favorite. This is the only recipe in the book that is dedicated solely to the turnip. Mimi Sheraton has assembled quite an array of quality recipes based on our experience with her selection. The fact that it made it in there says something. We agree as we enjoyed the finished dish and found we actually enjoyed the flavor of the turnip.
This week, we’re switching gears from our originally planned recipe from the Hasenpfeffer. Instead, we are taking advantage of the produce that we’ve received from our CSA. Because, belonging to one, you often get produce that you’re not used to working with. Or for us, produce we typically avoid purchasing or, for that matter, growing in the garden. So, for the final two German dishes we’re going to focus on vegetables that we’ve received from our CSA.
This is a pretty simple recipe. Probably the only challenge to it is slicing the round turnip into individual slices. Perhaps, the beauty of the recipe is how well it is balanced by the addition of sugar to counteract the strong flavor of the turnip. It is quite a delicious dish overall. This dish does take some time to prepare as you need to braise the turnip slices for around 40 minutes before thickening the sauce with some flour dumplings. Overall, it is a recipe we recommend and was quite a surprise when we sampled it. For someone who survived on fast food and prepackaged foods after leaving home for college, returning to traditional cooking has really opened up some enjoyable new discoveries.
Tools and Techniques
There are no special tools needed in this dish. All you need is a deep skillet with a lid and a sharp knife. If you have these you’ll be in good shape.
Challenges and the things to keep in mind
Not many as this is a straightforward recipe. Just check your final seasoning prior to serving up the dish and you should be in good shape.
Hard to believe, but next time we’ll have our final German dish in our Culinary Sojourn through Germany. We’re sticking with the CSA theme for our final German dish. We’ve received quite an assortment of beets, so we are going to search through the German recipes that feature beets. Like turnips, we didn’t eat many, if any beets, growing up in my household. So, we’re going to highlight the beet and a way Germans prepare it for our final dish on the first leg of our Culinary Sojourn, so you’ll want to stay tuned for that.
We promise we’re going to be addressing the last two famous German dishes we were originally planning, the Hasenpfeffer and the Apple Streudel in the upcoming weeks when we’ll do our “Germany Revisited” segment. That is a segment we’ll try to do every other month and will feature recipes we didn’t get to originally or look at other sources for the recipes themselves.
As always, we’ll post progress photos on Facebook. So, you’ll want to keep checking back for that.
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