January 5, 2011

A night in Austria

We spent a night in Austria, and it was great.  Except for the part where schnitzel makes me feel sick and shane doesn't like mustard or pickles.  HA!  At least we both like cake!

If you want to get technical the wiener schnitzel I made wasn't wiener schnitzel at all.  I made it with chicken, not only because I am lazy but because that is what I wanted.  In Austria, legally, any dish called by that name must be made from veal, so it's a darn good thing we're not in Austria yet. (102 days and we will be on our way!)  On top I made a sort of gravy, from beef stock, sour cream and dill.

I loved the potato salad, I thought it was great, no creamy dressing, but full flavoured and amazing none-the-less.  Much to Shane's dismay I will most definitely be making this dish again.  The body comes from some cooked potatoes mushed into the dressing.  It's quite vinegar-y and even has a little bite from the mustard.  Don't be discouraged by the look if it, because it's truly delicious.

The cake is called at Dobos Torte and...well I'm not sure I did it right to be honest.  I think I overcooked the cake layers.  The buttercream frosting was great, and held everything together nicely.  But the cake came out with a kind of chewy, slightly firm cookie consistency.  It was rather strange, but very tasty.

Austrian Potato Salad - (Cooks Illustrated version)

2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut 1/2 inch thick slices
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard (I used grainy)
1/4 cup veg oil
1 small red onion, small dice (about 3/4 cup)
6 cornichons, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp fresh minced chives

Bring potatoes, stock, water, salt, sugar and 1 tbsp white wine vinegar to a boil in a large heavy bottomed skillet.  Lower heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 17-19 minutes.  Make sure to check on the liquid level or you'll burn them all to the bottom like I did.  When potatoes offer no resistance when poked with a paring knife remove cover and increase heat to high.  Cook two minutes, to reduce liquid.  Drain potatoes over a large bowl, reserving cooking liquid.

Pour off liquid and discard all but 1/2 cup.  If 1/2 cup does not remain add water to make 1/2 cup.  Whisk remaining 1 Tbsp of vinegar, mustard and oil into cooking liquid.

Add 1/2 cup cooked potatoes to dressing and mash with a fork until a thick sauce forms.  Add sauce to remaining potatoes, add onion, pickles and chives, gently folding with a spatula to combine.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Makes enough for about 5 sides of salad.

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