Wednesday, August 3, 2011

German-Southern-Indian-Polish Fusion, Finally!

Last week, I was enjoying some local bluegrass with my friends Kasia and Neville, when we decided that it was time for a dinner party, and it was Neville's turn to host. As we started brainstorming ideas, it became clear that this would have to be heritage-themed, with all of our homelands represented.

It was difficult for me to choose which root of mine I was going to reprezent in my cooking. In the end, I made two types of potato salad: Souther-style and German. A fair compromise, I think. But then my German side bought some German beer.
Köstliche Gebräue

I found the recipe for German Potato salad in the Joy of Cooking. You will need:

2lbs potatoes: cooked and sliced, mashed or cubed; whatever you prefer
4 sliced bacon: cooked, drained and crumbled
1 small yellow onion: chopped and sauteed
1/2c water (or stock)
1/4c rice vinegar, white wine vinegar or cider vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1t sugar
1t mustard powder
fresh parsley for garnish

Once the potatoes are cooked, set aside and let cool while you cook the bacon. When the bacon is done, pour out all but about 2T of the fat. Add onions and cook until tender. Then add water/stock, vinegar, mustard, and sugar and let boil. Stir mixture into potatoes. Garnish with parsley.

Bacon, glorious bacon

and for the Southern-style, you'll need:

2 lbs potatoes: cooked and mashed (I always leave the skin on)
mayonnaise & mustard to taste
a dash of sugar
salt & pepper, to taste
2 boiled eggs
a couple tablespoons minced onion (raw)
sometimes I'll add celery
...and that's it. This is much more of a taste as you go recipe.

Kasia brought Polish Pork Cutlets, and a light and fresh salad, which I'm beginning to think is her specialty. It had carrots, sweet peas, potato, apple, celery, corn and a little mayonnaise dressing. It sounds like a lot of stuff, but the combination was very nice, and perfectly sweet. I enjoyed it. We also mixed up a delicious Mojito, using some of Neville's Rum from the West Indies.


pork cutlets

the lovely Kasia
yours truly

Neville made an old favorite of his, traditional Indian Chole in a butternut squash soup base, including homemade ketchup using tomatoes from his parents' garden, with cilantro. I am becoming a big fan of cooking with cilantro, thanks to my Indian friends. :) He also made basmati saffron rice with turmeric, bay leaf, cardamom and clove. And he broiled the perfect salmon rubbed with balsamic vinaigrette. Well done, Neville!

The Host


fish in a barrel, my friend

my heritage looks so mushy next to theirs :/
there were also some tasty Chinese treats

It makes me a little sad that we didn't embrace our German-ness growing up. I wish I knew how to make more traditional dishes. We more than made up for it with our Southern-ness though. What are your favorites?



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