May 3, 2009 1 Comment
I’ve recently made a conscious decision to learn more about my German heritage, culturally and culinary wise. The stereotype is that German food is always heavy and rich. In reality, if you watch the portion of the food it isn’t really that bad. You can’t tell me that foie gras and duck confit isn’t rich and heavy.
The idea is for me to apply for a German (Euro) work visa when I’m done chef school. To do so I need to pass a language test. Along with cooking delicious regional specialties I’ll need to “walk the walk” and “talk the talk”. This will enable me to train and learn in a variety of European countries. Travel and work legally? Yes please.
There’s a fabulous dish my grandmother used to prepare. In fact there are hundreds, I’m sure. Through research I’ve uncovered the direct German name: “Himmel und Erde” (Heaven and Earth). It’s basically mashed potatoes with apples. Everyone can try it:
Himmel und Erde:
2 lb potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tbs caraway seeds
1 1/2 lb apple (your favourite crisp, crunchy apple) 1/2 inch cubes as well
1 tbs sugar (I use honey)
2 tbs butter
Bacon, cut into 1cm bits. Fried and reserved
1/4 cup of milk, scalded (boiled until frothy, WATCH the pot! It happens fast)
pepper / salt
Place the potatoes into cold, salted water with caraway seeds. Bring to a boil.
When the potatoes start boiling, set a timer for 10 minutes.
Add the apples when the 10 minute mark hits.
Fry bacon, heat up milk. Add the butter to the milk to melt.
When you insert a knife into the potato and it falls off back into the water by itself, it’s done.
Strain and allow the potatoes and apples to dry a bit. Return to waterless pot and let dry for 2 minutes.
Add the hot milk/butter, sugar and bacon bits.
Mash and season with salt and pepper.