My Austrian food pact with the devil
My girlfriend wants me to watch the Sound of Music. I told her I'd do it if she cooked me an Austrian dinner (I haven't eaten much Austrian food and I'd like to help her build her cooking confidence - we've been together five months and it's somehow ended up that she's only cooked two nights in that time).
I don't think either of us are crazy about things that are breaded and fried. I'm not a huge dessert guy and she's been abnegating it herself lately, so I don't want her to make a legendary sweet on my behalf. Other than that, anything should be fair game. Any ideas?
Agree on gulasch with spaetzle. Authentic Austrian, and real comfort food.
Maybe trout with a nice sauce made from Austrian wine? And cauliflower with brown butter.
You have to try a Salzburger Knockerl. It's a dessert, but not a fancy pastry one. Sort of halfway between a meringue and a souffle. Not difficult to make. The local dish of Salzburg, the music city- not just because of The Sound Of Music; it's also the city of Mozart.
I would never pass up the opportunity to indulge in one of these when we used to visit my grandmother there. You won't be sorry.
Goulash and spaetzle. I don't have a spaetzle maker. First time I poked holes in the bottom of a foil pie tin but had better results poking holes in a styrofoam tray that was under the chuck bought for the goulash. Washed before using, of course. Poke holes on one half, pour the batter on the other and squeegee it over the holes with a bench scraper or spatula. I like to add onion powder and/or garlic powder to the batter, and bought powdered cabbage to further flavor the spaetzle when it accompanies pork.
Wolfgang Puck's recipe for gulasch is easy and fantastic- it's not precisely Austrian, but it's regional, and he's Austrian, so it's good enough for me. It tastes just like the gulasch we had while we were in Austria- brings me right back.
We serve it with a nice braised red cabbage and apple dish that I found here on Chowhound; you could also use locally made sauerkraut, or even egg noodles. Or you could be adventurous and use the recipe that Wolfgang Puck recommends serving with it- spaetzle. Which always seems too big a pain in the neck to me.
Second the Wolfgang Puck recipe for gulasch. It's very good.
I serve it with some commercial dried spaetzle (which cook in less than 20 minutes) or some potato dumplings made from the imported mix, and cucumber salad. Last time I made this gulasch for company, I served Obatzda as a starter. Finished the meal with some faux Apple Strudel made with phyllo and Granny Smiths.
Tafelspitz is Austrian, and it isn't breaded or fried. It's boiled.
Austrian-style gulasch also isn't fried.
Roasted goose or duck might also work, if you like goose or duck.
Spaetzle, and various savoury or sweet dumplings are also common dishes in Austria.
I like palatschinken (Mitteleuropean crepes), but they're panfried.
Check out some other ideas here: