Saturday, July 21, 2018

Some rainy-day recipes from Austria

We're supposed to get a lot of rain (and some thunderbumpers) here in southcentral Pennsylvania over the course of the upcoming week.

I thought it would be a good time to share some Austrian recipes from Gretel Beer (1921-2010), who was born as Margaret Weidenfeld. These are from the 1975 Dover paperback, Austrian Cooking & Baking, which is an unabridged version of Beer's book, Austrian Cooking, first published in 1954.

Beer writes in the short introduction:
"The culinary bouquet of Austria is made up of many fragrances. Of sugar and butter and rum. Of toasted almonds and chestnuts roasting at street corners. Of new wine and old love for recipes passed from mother to daughter. Of fresh coffee and comfortable gossip. Of sweet whipped cream and a leisurely contemplation of life. Of freshly scrubbed wooden tables and mounds of yeast dough rising in deep bowls. Of strong beer and Gulasch spiced with caraway seeds."
Here are a few recipes from the book, which is still in print and can be had for about $10 new and $2 used on Amazon. Delve into the Papergreat recipe label if you need more rainy-day recipe ideas!

Cheese biscuits

  • 4½ oz. grated cheese
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 4½ oz. flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • A few walnuts or hazel nuts for decoration
Work all the ingredients to a stiff paste, roll out and cut into shapes. Brush with a little egg white or milk and place a nut in centre of each biscuit. Bake until golden brown (Regulo 5). Alternately, only decorate half the biscuits with nuts and when cool, sandwich two and two together with paste made of creamed butter to which one or two finely scraped anchovies have been added.

Styrian Mutton Stew
Steirisches Schopsernes

  • 1 lb. mutton (weighed after all bones have been removed)
  • 1 carrot
  • Parsley and parsley root
  • 1 small celeriac
  • 1 onion
  • 1 dessertspoon fat
  • Salt, peppercorns
  • Bayleaf, thyme
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • ½ lb. potatoes
Cut meat into convenient pieces, pour some boiling water over meat and leave for ten minutes. Chop all the vegetables and fry lightly in fat. Pour away all the surplus fat, add one and a half pints of water and bring to boil. Add meat, salt, peppercorns, bayleaf, thyme, vinegar. Simmer until meat is almost cooked then add quartered potatoes and continue cooking until potatoes and meat are cooked.

Arrange meat and potatoes in a deep bowl and strain soup over them. Often served with a little horseradish grated over the top.

Widow's Kisses

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2½ oz. sugar
  • 2½ oz. chopped nuts
  • 1½ oz. chopped mixed peel
  • Rice paper
Whisk egg whites and sugar over steam until thick, remove from fire, whisk until cold. Fold in chopped nuts (walnuts, hazel nuts or almonds or a mixture of all three), chopped mixed peel. Arrange in small heaps on rounds of rice paper and bake at Regulo 1½ until lightly tinged with color.

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