Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekend deliciousness

This weekend we had a dinner date - the kind where we spend time in the kitchen together, cooking something neither of us has ever made before. My husband chose the recipe:

Schwammerlgulash mit Semmelknoedeln

Yes, it's a mouthful!

When we were out in Kimberley, B.C. in September, we had the pleasure of dining at the Old Bauernhaus Restaurant. This is a traditional Bavarian restaurant in a remarkable setting - a 370 year old building that was transported piece by piece from Bavaria! My husband (the sometimes carnivore) had the schnitzel, and I had the Knödel (bread dumplings) in a wild mushroom sauce. The food was delicious (and, like most German food, SO filling!). So, his inspiration for making this dish was our fabulous meal at the Old Bauernhaus.

The recipe makes 8 dumplings and plenty of mushroom goulash to top them. This is easily enough for four hungry people to eat for dinner (I managed one and a half dumplings before I was full to the brim!). It also came together faster than I'd expected. We used about 500g of mixed mushrooms (the recipe calls for 800g) and that was plenty. I think next time we would use the food processor to chop the mushrooms. We also substituted sherry for the white wine, just because we had it handy. (We also decided we'd stir in a bit of sour cream to the sauce next time, to give it a richer texture and a bit of a bite.) It was so yummy. Definitely recommended for a very rich, filling and impressive meal that isn't too time consuming to make. You could easily prepare the uncooked dumplings ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to cook them.

Today was a rainy and house-bound kind of day, and I decided to make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting. We had some cooked pumpkin in the freezer, perfect to puree and use in these (though of course, you can use canned)!

I found the recipe at Good Life Eats, though I just tried to take another peek at it and the site is down. Hopefully it comes back up soon (and thank goodness I copied down the recipe!). As with most yeast breads, this was a fairly time-consuming recipe - mix, rise, roll, fill and cut, rise, bake... but definitely worth the effort. The pumpkin flavour is subtle, the cream cheese frosting is delicious, and the rolls are moist and soft. You even get to say you're eating your vegetables and healthy whole wheat :) If their site doesn't return and you really want the recipe, leave me a comment and I'll try to post it.

I did find I needed to add more flour than the recipe called for, and I also added about 1/2 cup of walnuts sprinkled over the sugar filling (I mix the butter and sugars for the filling before spreading, too, which I think is easier). And... don't tell my hubby, but I didn't defrost quite enough pumpkin and had to add a little pureed sweet potato (possibly his least favourite vegetable). He didn't notice, phew! So, yes, you can substitute! :)

Okay, honestly, they are not healthy at all... but they sure are delicious.

One more thing... we had initially considered eating the Knödel with a side of meatless "chicken nuggets" - while the flavour would have worked with the mushroomy Knödel, thank goodness we didn't as we were already so stuffed. Anyway, my husband came up with the most hilarious term for chicken nuggets that nearly made me narf my dinner. Seriously, I laughed until I cried. Never mind that the pregnancy hormones make me do that often, this was really funny. Ready for it?


"ghetto schnitzel"


Ha! I was picturing people ordering a 6-pack of ghetto schnitzel at McDonalds.... :D Feel free to use and abuse at will. It would make me very happy.

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