Sauerkraut & Sausage

This one comes courtesy of my mother-in-law. I was never a fan of sauerkraut in the U.S., partially because I came across it so rarely (my mother has this general distaste for cruciferous vegetables). When I moved up to Detroit and had my mother-in-law’s version, while it was a revelation, I didn’t have a burning desire to make my own. But then we moved to Germany and it was everywhere, so I decided I needed to learn to deal with it and do it well. It’s important to not over-rinse the sauerkraut; even if you’re not a fan of the tang, you’ll need it to balance the richness of the sausage and give the potatoes some flavor. And the apples don’t make it sweet, they just take some of the edge off of the cabbage.

2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 t caraway seeds
3 T butter
3 T flour
1 k/2 lb polish sausage, thickly sliced (kielbasa or Rohpolnisch are good here)
3-4 small potatoes, cut into chunks (about the size of a halved wine cork)
2 small cooking apples, cut into chunks (smaller than the potatoes – use tart apples if you want to avoid it being too sweet)
2 large cans sauerkraut, lightly rinsed and NOT squeezed out
1/2-1 c water

Heat oven to 175 C°/350 F°. Cut first 4 ingredients together and set aside. Heat a large, oven-safe Dutch oven with lid over medium heat and add sausage. Cook sausage until well browned, then remove Dutch oven from heat. Add potatoes, apples, sauerkraut and brown sugar mixture and stir until well combined. Add water and place in oven covered. Cook for about 2 hours, checking every 40 minutes or so to stir and add water if needed. It’s done when you can pierce a potato with no resistance.

Also works in a crockpot (low 7-9 hours/high 3-4) or on the stove top (low heat, stir more frequently).

Pierogi Casserole a.k.a “Rogi-Sagna”

It’s a lot of work and requires a lot of dishwork afterward, but man is it ever worth it!

6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
450g bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
1 pkg Pasta Käse (=pasta cheese, because cheddar is damn near impossible to find in Germany)
salt and pepper to taste
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Place the potatoes in a large pot with water to cover over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, drain, then combine with the milk and 6 tablespoons of butter, mash and set aside.
3. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the bacon, onion and garlic in the butter for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the bacon is fully cooked.
4. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions and cool under running water.
5. Place 1/2 of the mashed potatoes into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top this with 1/3; of the cheese, followed by a layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat this with the remaining potatoes, another 1/2 of the cheese and a layer of noodles. Then arrange the bacon, onion and garlic over the noodles, then another layer of noodles, and finally top all with the remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F (175°C) for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with sour cream and chopped fresh chives.

Chicken Curry

8 bone-in chicken breast halves, skinless
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs olive oil
2 onions, peeled and quartered
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 Tbs hot (Madras) curry powder
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce (443 ml)
1 (10 oz.) can coconut milk (295 ml)
4 whole cloves
4 pods cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
salt to taste

1. Rinse chicken and pat dry; season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, then saute chicken until browned. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
2. Sauté onions in skillet until translucent; add ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, then stir in curry powder.
3. Return chicken to skillet and add tomato sauce, cocnut milk, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Season with salt to taste and stir all together.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through (no longer pink inside), about 20 to 25 minutes.

Tangy Sauerkraut and Bratwurst

2 lbs drained Sauerkraut (1 c juice reserved)
2 tsp Caraway Seeds
2 T Düsseldorfer Löwensenf Mittelscharf (or any medium-spicy german mustard)
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 C Beef Broth
1 pkg Nürnberger Bratwürste (any kind of available bratwurst will do)
2 bay leaves

1. Heat sauerkraut in skillet over medium heat. After heated through, add caraway seeds, mustard and black pepper.
2. In large flat pan, brown sliced bratwurst. Set aside.
3. Add sauerkraut juice, bratwurst, beef broth and bay leaves to sauerkraut. Cover and stir occasionally, until sauerkraut is slightly browned and most of liquid is cooked off.

Bombay Express

The Joint

Am Ölberg 3
93047 Regensburg
Germany

Sarah

I have become an Indian-food obsessive. I try to cook it (from scratch) and it never turns out right. Which is no longer that big of a deal, since the best Indian take-out in Regensburg is literally around the corner from us.

This is a tiny place, but impeccably clean and charmingly decorated. There are a handful of tables at the establishment, but they seem to do most of their business as take-out. The menu is a little limited, but everything they serve is extremely flavorful and the prices are unbeatable. And I think the proprietor has an encyclopedic memory of his customers. He seems to remember our order and the level of spiciness we prefer.

Ganesha

The Joint

Indisches Restaurant Ganesha
Maximilianstr. 23
93047 Regensburg
Tel: +49 (0) 941 5861994
Fax: +49 (0) 941 5861995

Cliff

Make sure you come hungry — it’s hard not to stuff yourself here. Get a Tandoori dish if you want a free side of Naan bread. Oh, and if you think you can hack it, try the garlic soup for a cold winter evening appetizer. Lately we’ve been hitting Ganesha on holidays like Christmas and New Year’s.

Sarah

This is the very first restaurant I ever ate at after we moved to Germany, so I have an extra soft-spot for it. It’s fairly formal looking inside – starched tablecloths, lots of silver and gold statuary and a riot of color from the artfully draped saris hanging from the ceiling. But it all pales in comparison to the food. They always start you off with pappadums (light, crispy tortilla-like flatbread made of – I think – lentil flour) and dips. The menu is extensive and varied. Cliff has tried nearly all of the tandoori offerings. I have ordered from the vegetarian, chicken, lamb and biryani sections – there is also a generous selection of curries involving fish and duck. The staff is friendly (although occasionally indifferent) and the prices, while a little higher than what we usually look for, are a value for the quality of ingredients and expert preparation.

Dishes to try:
-Alu Gobi (vegetarian; potatoes and cauliflower in mild sauce)
-Mutton Nilgiri (mutton chunks in mild coconut milk and coriander sauce)