Taste of Old Germany: Recipes from my Colorado Restaurant and my Childhood

Overview

After her husband's death in 1998, Rita had to take over their Old Germany Restaurant in Dolores,
Colorado. Following in the footsteps of her husband, who was a certified German chef seemed almost impossible at that time. Yet Rita began looking for recipes in old-written notes and in cookbooks. Not satisfied with what she found,
she began to create her own recipes, making them as simple and easy-to-follow as ...
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Taste of Old Germany: Recipes from my Colorado Restaurant and my Childhood

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Overview

After her husband's death in 1998, Rita had to take over their Old Germany Restaurant in Dolores,
Colorado. Following in the footsteps of her husband, who was a certified German chef seemed almost impossible at that time. Yet Rita began looking for recipes in old-written notes and in cookbooks. Not satisfied with what she found,
she began to create her own recipes, making them as simple and easy-to-follow as possible. With the help of friends and family, she reopened Old Germany Restaurant in February,
1999. At the end of 2008, they closed the restaurant and went into retirement, but Rita promised her customers that she would write a cookbook so that she could share her wonderful German recipes with them. From her delicious customer favorite, Chicken and Dumpling Soup to the traditional German entrée Sauerbraten with German Fried
Potatoes and many wonderful desserts, Rita shares all of her favorite recipes. These recipes are the only constant that guided her through happiness and sorrow, through failure and success, through loneliness and comfort. Writing this cookbook was a very soothing endeavor that has brought closure to this part of her life. It is her hope that these recipes bring many satisfying meals to all.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781450218641
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/23/2010
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 510,368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Rita Bergstrom met her present husband, Don, at the worst time of her life. Exhausted from the daily work of running a business and constant equipment failures, she was at her breaking point.
Together they rebuilt a successful business, Old Germany
Restaurant in Dolores, Colorado.
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Read an Excerpt

Taste of Old Germany

Recipes from My Colorado Restaurant and My Childhood
By Rita Bergstrom

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Rita Bergstrom
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4502-1864-1


Chapter One

Soups

* * *

Asparagus Soup (Spargelsuppe)

In Germany we use mostly white asparagus. It grows below ground and needs to be harvested as soon as it cracks the surface, which means twice a day, no matter what the weather is like. Spargel is a delicacy and served in every restaurant during the Spargelzeit, which means "asparagus time."

1 pound white asparagus 2 quarts water 1/2 stick butter 3 tablespoons flour 1 pint milk Fresh parsley or chives, chopped

Peel the tough, woody outer layer from the spears of asparagus and then remove the cut ends. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces, and simmer in lightly salted water until done (about 25 minutes). Strain the liquid from the asparagus but do not discard. Set both aside.

In a medium soup pot, melt butter over medium heat and stir in flour to make a roux. Cook, while stirring constantly, until mixture is pale yellow. Gradually add reserved liquid while continuing to stir. Add milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add asparagus. Garnish with parsley or chives before serving.

Beef Soup (Rindfleischsuppe)

1 pound beef short ribs 3 quarts water 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 leek, washed thoroughly (to remove grit) and sliced 1 stalk celery, diced 2 medium carrots, diced 2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 1/4 cup diced onion 1 bay leaf Fresh parsley, chopped

Cover meat with water and just bring to a boil. Remove ribs, drain liquid, put ribs back into pot, and add 3 quarts of water; add seasonings, bay leaf, leek, carrots, celery, and onion. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and let simmer for about 1 hour. Add potato chunks and simmer for another 30 minutes or until potatoes are done. Discard bay leaf. Take ribs out and let cool a little. Once cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones, dice, and put back into soup. Add some beef soup base if needed. Garnish with parsley.

Cauliflower Soup (Blumenkohlsuppe)

1 medium cauliflower 2 quarts water 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon sour cream 1 egg yolk Salt and pepper Sugar 1 pinch nutmeg Fresh parsley or chives, chopped

Clean and cut cauliflower into small florets. In a soup pot, add salt and a dash of sugar to 2 quarts of water; drop in cauliflower and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is done but not too soft. Strain liquid from cauliflower but do not discard. Set both aside. In same soup pot, melt butter over medium-high heat and then add flour; whisk together to form a roux. Under constant whisking, spoon liquid slowly back into pot. Bring to a boil again and add cauliflower. Mix egg yolk with sour cream and whisk into the soup.

Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Garnish with parsley or chives before serving.

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

One day I was desperate to find something to add to my chicken soup. When I thought of the flour dumplings my mother used to make for her lentil soup, I decided it was worth trying. The result was an instant hit with my customers. From then on people would call ahead to order this soup for takeout or dining in. It was even a favorite among children. In the last month the restaurant was open, I had to make this soup every day.

1 medium onion, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 3 medium carrots, diced 4 quarts water 1 large chicken leg and thigh 1 bay leaf 2 juniper berries Chicken soup base Fresh parsley, chopped Flour dumplings (pg. 53)

In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, sauté onions in about 2 tablespoons of oil until translucent. Along with water, add chicken, celery, carrots, bay leaf, and juniper berries. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for about 1 hour. Take out chicken pieces, discard skin and bones, and add meat to soup. Take out bay leaf and juniper berries, and add soup base to taste. Spoon flour dumplings into boiling broth; turn down heat to medium-low and let simmer covered for 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

My husband Don was raised in Minnesota, where wild rice is very popular. Through him I got to know and love this dense, slightly chewy grain. One day, I decided to add it to my chicken soup. This dish immediately became a restaurant favorite.

1 cup wild rice 1 medium onion, diced 1 celery stalk, diced 2 medium carrots, diced Meat from 1 chicken breast, or 1 chicken leg and thigh, diced 4 quarts water 1 bay leaf 2 juniper berries 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (you can also use canned) Chicken soup base Fresh parsley, chopped

Cook wild rice in 3 cups of water for about 45 minutes.

In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, sauté onions in about 2 tablespoons of oil until translucent; add diced chicken and fry lightly. Along with water, add celery, carrots, bay leaf, and juniper berries. Simmer for 1 hour. Add chicken soup base, mushrooms, rice, and parsley. Take out bay leaf and juniper berries before serving.

Hungarian Goulash Soup (Ungarische Gulaschsuppe)

My sister introduced this recipe to the restaurant. It was also a crowdpleaser.

1 pound cubed pork 1 pound cubed beef 5 slices of bacon, diced 2 medium onions, diced Bell peppers (1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow), sliced 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 tablespoons oil 3 tablespoons Spanish paprika 1 cup red wine 4 quarts water 1 tablespoon yellow mustard 1 tablespoon steak sauce (Heinz 57) 2-3 tablespoons ketchup Brown gravy mix Salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, fry bacon until crisp, take out, and drain on a paper towel. To the same pot, add meat and onions, and fry until meat is brown and onions are translucent. Stir in tomato paste and add bacon, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Add water and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high; add paprika and let foam up. Scrape into liquid. Deglaze skillet with red wine and add to soup. Add mustard, steak sauce, ketchup, and gravy mix, and salt and pepper to taste.

Lentil Soup (Linsensuppe)

When I was a child, lentil soup was one of my favorites. Calling on my memories of its flavors, I came up with this creation.

1 medium onion, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 2 medium carrots, diced 1 pound dried lentils 4 quarts water 1 bay leaf 2 juniper berries 1 pound pork stew meat 1 cup diced ham or a ham bone Beef soup base Fresh parsley, chopped Flour dumplings (pg. 53)

Rinse lentils thoroughly.

In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, sauté onions in about 2 tablespoons of oil until translucent. Add meat and brown lightly. Along with water, add carrots, celery, bay leaf, juniper berries, and lentils, and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove bay leaf and juniper berries, and add soup base to taste. Spoon in flour dumplings; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Garnish with parsley.

Tips:

To make a vegetarian soup, leave out meat, and replace beef soup base with vegetable soup base.

For a main dish, add warm knackwurst or wieners to the soup before serving.

Meatball Soup (Fleischkloesschensuppe)

In Germany this soup is a favorite at weddings.

For the broth: 1 medium onion, diced 2 medium carrots, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 4 quarts water 1 bay leaf 2 juniper berries Beef soup base Fresh parsley, chopped

For the meatballs: 2 1/2 pounds ground beef 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup parsley flakes 1 pinch sugar 2 eggs 2 pinches nutmeg 1 tablespoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 3 cups plain breadcrumbs

For the meatballs, put all ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Form walnut-size meatballs and set aside.

In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, sauté onions in a little oil until translucent. Along with water, add carrots, celery, bay leaf, and juniper berries, and simmer until vegetables are done. Remove bay leaf and juniper berries, and add soup base. Carefully drop in meatballs and simmer for about 20 minutes; skim off fat and add parsley.

Tip:

No matter how many meatballs I made, it seemed we'd always run out halfway through the night. To prevent this, I began adding uncooked angel hair pasta to the soup, simmering it for another 10 minutes.

Pancake Soup (Pfannkuchensuppe)

1 medium onion, diced 1 celery stalk, diced 2 medium carrots, diced 2 quarts water Beef soup base 2 or 3 German pancakes (pg. 40) Fresh parsley, chopped

In a medium soup pot, over medium-high heat, sauté onions in about 2 tablespoons of oil until translucent. Add carrots, celery, and water. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are done, and then add soup base and parsley.

Roll up each pancake and cut into 1/2-inch strips. Add to soup pot just before serving.

Tip:

You can store leftover pancake strips in your freezer for later use.

Pork Vegetable Soup

1 large onion, diced 2 celery stalks, chopped 4-5 large carrots, chopped 1 pound pork stew meat 4 quarts water 1 bay leaf 2 juniper berries Beef soup base 1 small head green cabbage, chopped Fresh parsley, chopped

In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, sauté onions in about 2 tablespoons of oil until translucent. Add meat and brown lightly. Along with water, add carrots, celery, bay leaf, and juniper berries, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until meat is done. Remove bay leaf and juniper berries, and add soup base and cabbage. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Add parsley before serving.

Tips:

When preparing pork loins for schnitzels or roasts, save trimmings and end slices, dice them up, portion them, and freeze them for later use. Instead of pork stew meat you can use beef stew meat; you can also use different vegetables of your choice instead of cabbage.

Potato Soup (Kartoffelsuppe)

5 slices of bacon, diced 1 large onion, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 2 large carrots, diced 5 large potatoes, diced 4 quarts water 1 bay leaf 2 juniper berries 1 tablespoon caraway seeds Beef soup base Fresh parsley, chopped

In a skillet, fry diced bacon until crisp and set aside on a paper towel to drain. In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, sauté diced onions in 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil until translucent. Along with water, add celery, carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, and juniper berries. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are done. Take out bay leaf and juniper berries, and stir in soup base to taste. Add caraway seeds and garnish with parsley.

Tomato Herb Soup

After my husband died, I found a case of stewed tomatoes in the pantry. The only way I could think of to use them was in a soup. I found a recipe in an old cookbook, but I did not have some of the ingredients on hand, and I didn't care for others. So I improvised, using what I had and what I thought would taste all right. The resulting soup got great reviews from my customers. It became a regular.

1 medium onion, diced 1 celery stalk, diced 2 medium carrots, diced 2 quarts stewed tomatoes, canned 2 quarts water 1/2 tablespoon sugar 1/2 tablespoon salt 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1/4 cup dried cilantro 1/4 cup dried parsley flakes 3 dashes Tabasco sauce Chicken soup base

In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, sauté onions in about 2 tablespoons of oil until translucent. Add celery, carrots, stewed tomatoes, water, and all seasonings including soup base. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 45 minutes.

Tip:

To make a more-substantial soup, add 1 cup uncooked elbow pasta about 10 minutes before cooking time is completed.

Vegetable Soup (Gemuesesuppe)

1 small head Savoy cabbage 3 medium carrots 2 large potatoes 2 bulbs kohlrabi 2 cups green beans 1 small head cauliflower 1 celery stalk 1 leek 1 onion 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour Salt and pepper Vegetable soup base Water Fresh parsley, chopped

Clean and dice all vegetables, steam them in a large soup pot with 2 cups of water until tender, and set aside.

In a smaller pot, melt butter over medium heat and then add flour to make a roux. Cook, under constant stirring, until lightly brown. Whisk in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add to the soup pot, along with as much water and soup base as you need. Use parsley for garnish.

Salads

* * *

Asparagus Salad (Weisser Spargelsalat)

The most common asparagus used in Germany is the white one. It grows underground and has to be harvested just before it pushes out of the soil. It has a milder flavor than its cousin, the green asparagus. For consumption it has to be peeled and cooked.

1 pound white asparagus 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup white vinegar 1 cup water 2 tablespoons salad oil 1 tablespoon chives, chopped

Peel the tough, woody outer layer from the spears of asparagus and then remove the cut ends. Boil the spears in salted water for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender.

While the asparagus cooks, mix sugar, salt, vinegar, water, and oil together to make a dressing.

Arrange cooked spears on a deep serving platter, and pour dressing over the still-hot vegetable. Sprinkle chives on top. Let cool in refrigerator before serving.

Cauliflower Salad (Blumenkohlsalat)

1 medium cauliflower 3 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup white vinegar 1 cup water Salad oil Chopped chives, optional

Clean and cut cauliflower into florets, and cook them in salted water until tender but not too soft (about 15 minutes).

While the cauliflower cooks, mix sugar, salt, vinegar, and water together to make a dressing.

Drain the florets and place them carefully into a large bowl. Pour dressing over the still-hot cauliflower, and refrigerate until needed.

Before serving, drizzle salad oil over top and garnish with chives.

Tip:

I like to have extra cauliflower salad in my refrigerator. I eat it together with a sandwich or on a big salad.

Chicken Salad (Gefluegelsalat)

1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast (canned or leftover) 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple tidbits 1 (8-ounce) can sliced mushroom 1/2 cup mayonnaise Salt and pepper to taste

Drain mushrooms and pineapple and put them together with the chicken pieces into a mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise, salt, and pepper, and mix. Keep refrigerated until needed. Serve on toasted French bread slices or crackers.

Coleslaw

1 small head green cabbage, shredded 1 cup shredded carrots 4 1/2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/3 cup white vinegar, no name brand 2 cups mayonnaise

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, seasonings, vinegar, and mayonnaise, and mix thoroughly. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Corn Salad (Maissalat)

This was always a part of the salad bar at the restaurant.

1 (16-ounce) can baby corn 1/2 small onion, diced 1 tablespoon diced red peppers (fresh or canned) 3 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon white pepper 1/3 cup white vinegar 2 tablespoons salad oil

Pour corn with liquid into a large mixing bowl. Add onions, red peppers, vinegar, and seasonings, and mix well. Add salad oil before serving.

Tip:

Without the oil, salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cucumber Salad (Gurkensalat)

2 large cucumbers 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup white vinegar 1 cup water Dried dill Salad oil

Peel and slice cucumbers into a bowl. Mix seasonings, vinegar, and water together, and pour over cucumbers. Sprinkle dill over top. Before serving add a little salad oil.

Green Bean Salad (Gruener Bohnensalat)

This salad was always part of the salad bar.

1 (16-ounce) can cut green beans 1/2 small onion, diced 1 tablespoon diced red peppers (fresh or canned) 3 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon white pepper 1/3 cup white vinegar, no name brand 2 tablespoons salad oil

Pour beans with liquid into a large bowl. Add onions, red peppers, vinegar, and seasonings, and mix well. Before serving, add salad oil.

Tip:

Without the oil, salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Pasta Salad (Nudelsalat)

1 (16-ounce) package elbow pasta 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced 1 small tomato, diced 1 small cucumber, peeled and diced 1 teaspoon parsley flakes 1/2 cup Kraft Golden Italian dressing

Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and rinse under cold water, and pour into a large bowl. Add eggs, tomato, and cucumber to pasta, along with parsley and dressing, and mix well.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Taste of Old Germany by Rita Bergstrom Copyright © 2010 by Rita Bergstrom. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Soups....................1
Salads....................15
Main Dishes....................25
Vegetables and Side Dishes....................51
Condiments and More....................65
Cakes and Desserts....................73
Cookies....................85
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