German Delights

By  |  0 Comments

After our wedding, Dario (my new husband) and I went for a short “mini-moon” in Shepherdstown, WV.  We stayed for three nights at this beautiful German-style hotel called the Bavarian Inn.  The Inn sits right on the Potomac river in quiet little Shepherdstown and offers beautiful views and authentic German cuisine.

One of the evenings we were there, we made reservations at the Inn’s restaurant.  We had heard so many wonderful things about the food – especially the fall game festival!  As a foodie, getting the chance to sample some authentic German food was an exciting an opportunity!  And although German food typically has an emphasis on meat-heavy dishes, I figured it was a rare chance to taste some unique foods.  So for the night, I gave up my usual vegetarian lifestyle and opted in for some delicious German delicacies!

In addition to starting the meal with a nice bottle of German wine, we decided to split an appetizer, Schwarzwaelder Kaese Spaetzle.  Yea that’s a hard one to pronounce – don’t ask me how to say it!  Basically, its spaetzle (those little pasta like dumplings) tossed with ham, asparagus and browned butter and topped with a generous sprinkling of Gruyere cheese.  It was incredibly buttery and cheesey and delicious!  After a phenomenally prepared Caesar salad, I had Wiener Schnitzel – Classic Vienna veal cutlet lightly breaded and served with red cabbage and spaetzle.  The veal was so tender and the crust was light and crunchy.  Of course another serving of spaetzle was just as delicious as the first.  As for the red cabbage I was a bit nervous about trying it.  I feel like it’s always been one of those side dishes every kid dreads at dinner.  But after a reluctant first bite…I realized it was amazing!  Sweet, tangy and a bit sour it was a wonderful acidic counterpart to the butter and oil on the schnitzel and spaetzle.

When I got home, I became obsessed with finding a red cabbage recipe so I could recreate the delicious dish from the Bavarian Inn.  I found this recipe from Food Network – Braised Red Cabbage – and it was a close second to the red cabbage at the Bavarian Inn.  Although it was served alongside a nice helping of spaetzle at the restaurant, I wasn’t in the mood to experiment with spaetzle making on top of shredding 3 lbs of cabbage.  So I subbed in my mashed potatoes and parsnips which is great for soaking up the yummy sauce.  I like adding in the parsnips because they give the potatoes just a hint of extra flavor.  Parsnips taste kind of like….a celery flavored carrot.  And it looks like a carrot too – except a creamy white color.  Never the less, they are a really unique addition to your everyday mashed potatoes!  Heres the recipe:

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips:

  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • 3 parsnips – peeled, cored and chopped
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 1/2-3/4 cup half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste
Fill a large pot with water and add about 2 tbsp salt – this gives the potatoes and parsnips a lot of flavor without salting like crazy after they’re cooked.  Throw in the potatoes and parsnips, cover pot and bring to a boil.  Cook until potatoes and parsnips can be pierced easily with a fork.  Drain potatoes and parsnips and put back into the pot.  Mash in the butter and as much half and half until you get to your desired consistency – I like a few chunks left in!  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve warm alongside Braised Red Cabbage for a cozy German dinner.

Hey, thanks for reading! Share your thoughts!