Friday, April 3, 2009
Die Deutsche Küche schlägt wieder zu!
It's not that I have anything against German cooking, it's just that I never get around to making it. Or I make something that is American to me (stew or roast chicken) but tastes German to mein Mann. But, this week I did a tasting for a potential new client that wants seasonal German food (why they think I am the person to make German food is beyond me, but...) and so I had no choice but to cook auf Deutsch. The potential client hails from the region of Hessen (you may be familiar with the Frankfurt airport). In my somewhat limited experience, Hesseners are all crazy for Grünesauce (Green Sauce), which is an herb sauce made from a blend of seven fresh herbs (don't even think of substituting something else or leaving one out!): borage, chervil, parsley, cress, chives, sorrel and salad burnet. The herbs are minced and combined with a bit of vinegar and mustard, a few hard-boiled egg yolks, and some minced onions, which are all mixed into something white (I used creme fraiche, but you can apparently also use mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream, or quark). (Full disclosure: I'm fairly certain that this is one of those recipes for which there are as many versions are there are cooks - the herbs seem to be a set deal, but you can add minced pickle or capers, etc.) I've most commonly seen Grünesauce served with boiled potatoes or brisket (a more sophisticated version of that mayo-mustard mixture that my family always ate with our brisket), but I think you could serve it with most any meat or fish or veggie for that manner. But then again, I'm a heretical American and can never seem to think (or cook) inside the German box. With that spirit in mind, I decided to make deviled eggs with a Grünesauce filling. I trekked down to Frischeparadies (another one of these stores that is supposedly "the best" and where you can "find anything," which, in my experience mostly translates to fancy jarred sauces and overpriced mixed greens (though they do have (crazy expensive teeny jars of) vanilla extract), which is the only place I've been able to find all seven Grünesauce herbs. The herbs come in a very chic wrapping complete with a recipe for Grünesauce.
Alas, I couldn't take a picture of my finished eggs, but I can tell you that they were a big hit...which, in connection with a delicious (if I do say so myself) apple tart (such is seasonal cooking in Berlin at the beginning of April) and a few other delights, have resulted in a potential new client/job situation......details to come if it all works out...