Wienerwald

My parents are visiting and as they’ve never been to Vienna before, we started the week with a bus tour. Staying with the “tourist” theme, we headed to Wienerwald restaurant in the 1st district for lunch. It’s one of those restaurants where the menus are in multiple languages and have pictures. While it isn’t high cuisine, it does serve traditional Viennese dishes. Oh, and my kids love it.

Tessiner Rösti

Tessiner Rösti

I don’t know what compelled me to order such a heavy dish as we were sitting in an un-air conditioned restaurant in 97-degree heat, but oddly enough I am glad I did as it was pretty tasty. The dish is a chicken filet covered with pepper cream sauce, mushrooms, and fried onions, and served with tomatoes and rösti.

Rösti are fried potato pancakes, and I must admit that I did not know what differentiated them from kartoffelpuffer (see my recipe for those here). I did some Googling and learned that rösti are Swiss and are never made with eggs or flour, as kartoffelpuffer are. Hmmm… I could not taste an appreciable difference between rösti and kartoffelpuffer, but that may be because the sauce was so overpowering.

I plan to recreate this dish at home in the near future, maybe even with rösti instead of kartoffelpuffer if I’m feeling really industrious. Stay tuned.

Recipe: Kartoffelpuffer

Despite the first step of the instructions clearly stating that you use uncooked potatoes for this recipe, I boiled the potatoes before I grated them. That’s what I did for the knoedel and mohnzelten that I recently made, and boiling potatoes for dough was fresh in my mind. The result was deep-fried mashed potatoes, more akin to a boxty than kartoffelpuffer. They tasted good, however, and I am confident that if I were to follow this recipe exactly the next time, the result would be tasty and authentic kartoffelpuffer.
The accidental boxties

The accidental boxties

225 grams (7.9 oz) potatoes
60 grams (2.1 oz) butter
125 milliliters (1/2 C) water
75 grams (2.6 oz) flour
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
oil for frying
50 grams (1.8 oz) grated parmesan cheese
1. Peel and grate the uncooked potatoes.
2. Combine butter and water in a pan over low heat until the butter has dissolved (do not boil).
3. Remove from heat and sift in the flour all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
4. Return to stove and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes away from pan rim and base. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
5. Put the dough into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring thoroughly to incorporate each addition. Continue to beat until the mixture is shiny.
6. Add the grated potatoes and chili powder and combine thoroughly.
7. Heat oil in a deep, heavy pan. Drop the mixture 1 tsp at a time into the pan and fry until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve warm.

Recipe: Fiaker Gulasch

Fiaker Gulasch from S'Piff heuriger.

Fiaker Gulasch from heuriger S’Piff.

Fiaker Gulasch is gulasch with a fried egg on top and sliced sweet/sour pickles on the side. Some versions also include a sliced roasted sausage. It is served with some form of potato on the side, either sliced rounds of boiled potato or kartoffelpuffer/rösti (fried potato rounds), as pictured here. We’re big fans of kartoffelpuffer here, so that is how I will serve our fiaker gulasch. Stay tuned for a kartoffelpuffer recipe!

Bratislavská Reštaurácia

bratislava

This picture was taken at Bratislavská Reštaurácia in Bratislava. My son is holding a blue pot of klasickou bryndzovou pomazankou, a “classic sheep cheese spread” made with paprika and green onions. The spread in and of itself was fantastic, but even better was that my children gobbled it up. I would like to learn this dish, and one of my German-language cookbooks does include this recipe. I doubt I will be able to find fresh Slovak sheep cheese when we return to the States, though, so I am going to figure out a way to recreate this dish using cheeses that are available in the States. Stay tuned!

During this same meal we also enjoyed držková polievka (tripe soup), cerstvá zemiaková placka (stuffed potato pancake), and bryndzové halušky so slaninou (sheep cheese and bacon gnocchi, aka the “Slovak national dumpling”). I don’t think we’ll be making tripe soup anytime soon, though I do have a recipe for the gnocchi/dumplings and might give them a whirl. The potato pancakes are quite similar to Austrian kartoffelnpuffer, which is a family favorite and definitely something I’ll be learning to do. So, again, stay tuned for recipes.