Sriracha Maple Snack Mix are the perfect snack mix, with a blend of spicy, salty and sweet. Great for friends and family to munch on. …
This week’s recipe of Berlin Currywurst is, for me, a lovely example of delicious historical irony.
Let me explain. As some readers already know, I’m a teacher. History teacher to be precise, who happens to teach a lot of German history. Germany is a great country, and one which I really love to visit. I also love German (and Austrian) food, with its slow braising, sausages and brilliant baking. It is the first place I tried currywurst, from a market stall in Wittenbergplatz. Sure my communication with the stall owner was greatly inhibited by my weak knowledge of the German language, but it was delicious. As, it must be said, are the soft pretzels.
Anyway, most recently I took a bunch of students to Berlin. I’ve always been somewhat jealous of the opportunities students in Europe have for travelling, and Berlin is a perfect example. If you have never visited, do so now. It is a great city, and frankly quite cheap as far as capital cities go. It is loaded with history, much of the last century quite violent. It is a story of continual boom and bust.
An overnight trip with students is always stressful, but my students (and my staff members) were brilliant. The trip itself was very emotional, and sparked a debate within my students. One student in particular queried their puzzlement at the 1930s. ‘Couldn’t people see what they were getting by supporting the Nazis?’
As a teacher, you love this, because it means students are questioning and thinking for themselves. The question itself was a fair question, that historians continue to debate. You can understand the student’s thought process, as Hitler espoused radical views about minorities, rival politicians and the changes taking place in society. The channelling of the hate to target groups of people, based on people’s belief that they were somehow cheated and disadvantaged. The anger of social change they didn’t like. The anger at politicians, who they blamed for their ills. Hitler came to power by latching on to this discontentment, and presenting himself as a ‘superman’ type of figure who alone could solve these ‘problems’ and return Germany to glory. As my students debated; it was scary that such hate attracted such support. You can read more about the history of the time here.
So then, why do I consider Berlin Currywurst an excellent symbol of historical irony? Because it is the antithesis of 1930’s Germany, and illustrates everything positive since 1989, served on a plate. You have a traditional grilled German bratwurst(always delicious) and a great ketchup based sauce (hello American Heinz!). Yet, it’s given a curry twist with some curry powder on top. The mixing of old traditions with the new has created a dish that is, when homemade or bought in a market, delicious. Together they are delicious food, and also something that would never have been tolerated in the 1930s.
Right, History lesson over. In all seriousness, Berlin currywurst is really good. However, should you go to Germany and decide to try it, I must implore you to only buy it from markets. Do not buy from the chain shops selling it, it just isn’t as good!
A great German Pilsner is called for, obviously.
Umm, oompah music? Well, maybe not. Instead, how about 99 Luftballons!!
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- 4-6 Bratwursts
- ½ cup of Tomato Ketchup
- 4 – 5 teaspoons of Mild Curry Powder
- 2 teaspoons of Hot Smoked Paprika
- ½ a shallot finely diced
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoons of Cayenne Pepper
- 1 teaspoon of garlic granules
- 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire Sauce
- 4 tablespoons of Chicken stock
- Put a bit of oil in a pan, and sauté the shallot. Add the curry and garlic powder, and stir to combine. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Let it simmer on the stow for 5 - 10 minutes to meld flavours. If need be add a bit of water.
- Meanwhile, cook the bratwursts, ensuring that you pan fry them or grill them to crisp up the skin.
- Serve warm over sliced bratwurst, fries or a roll on the side would be good too. Dust with a bit of curry powder.
With all the talk in the UK in recent days being about Brexit, I got frustrated enough to turn off the TV and my laptop. Which is quite unnerving given my normal desire to follow anything political. Anyway, last weekend I did indeed switch off, and turned to the kitchen.
Last year I finally bought a waffle iron, and since then about twice a month for breakfast we have waffle on lazy Sunday mornings. They are good, but this is a bit of a twist of my normal recipe with a bit of a heartier and spicier edge to it. Which means that these cornmeal waffles stand up better than most to more inventive toppings.
‘Cornmeal Waffles demand accompaniments’
Unlike a normal Belgian waffle, cornmeal waffles are more savoury than sweet. That and they demand accompaniments. With Belgian waffles you could easily just cover them with butter and maple syrup. With cornmeal waffles, you need toppings that work with the spice and heft. This rich egg yolk, spiced sausage, or fresh herbs. In the past I’ve loaded these with scrambled eggs and pico de gallo, fried eggs and chimichurri, and most recently I turned them into a sandwich with poached eggs and sausage. Oh they are good, even my spice aversion husband liked these crispy nooks.
So, there you have it. You want a good way to switch up a classic breakfast?, then give these cornmeal waffles a shot.
Southern Cornmeal Waffles
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup ground cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs separated
- 1/4 cup honey or Maple Syrup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoons Hot paprika
- Mix all dry ingredients together, including spices. In a separate bowl, place all wet ingredients except for the egg white.
- Using a whisk, whip the egg whites until they are light and fluffy with peaks.
- Add all the wet ingredients (except for egg whites) with the dry, and then slowly fold in the egg whites. This will help the waffles be a bit more airy, especially when the cornmeal will make them heavier.
- Finally, let the mixture sit for about 15-20 minutes while you heat up the waffle iron. When hot, lightly grease with butter or nonstick spray. Pour a bit of batter onto the iron, and cook until golden brown. Top with poached egg and sausages.