Last weekend was an exciting weekend of food for us, as we tried a number of new things: grilling and re-creating German food. (Okay, in all actuality, I got the recipe out of my Belgian cookbook, but it was really close to something we’d have eaten in Germany. The recipe in the actual German book didn’t look nearly as tasty and took over 24 hours to complete. No thanks.)
On Saturday, Chris put together the grill and we were looking forward to using it for the first time. In preparation, I got some Polish kielbasa and rolls, some baked potato salad (potatoes, bacon, cheddar cheese, probably some sour cream in the mix–it was probably the worst thing ever for us but it was really tasty), and some cabbage. Yes, cabbage. We initially envisioned brats on the grill and we were going to do a take on a German meal, but the kielbasa looked much better when I got to the store. I guess we were still operating in the same general region of the world. I also pulled out my new cookbooks from our honeymoon locales and found a recipe for red cabbage and apples–it was very much like the sauerbraten we had in Munich, which was fantastic. The recipe wasn’t terribly hard, and it was pretty darned good. It recalled all of those memories of the sauerbraten from Augustiner brauhaus, sitting in the little courtyard for lunch the last day we were there. It was the only restaurant we went to twice…and it was so worth it.
But I digress. To round out our meal, Chris ran down to this fantastic local microbrewery, East End Brewing. To call them a microbrewery almost seems like an overstatement–they operate out of one building, and the sell to a few local restaurants. Other than that, you can only get their beer by going there, getting a growler, and bringing it home with you. But they’ve got some fantastic brews, and Chris and I really like getting a growler when we know we’ll have an opportunity to drink it–having friends over, or perhaps even just having a 3-day weekend together. 🙂 We got their Monkey Boy Hefeweisen, one of my personal favorites. It has a very strong clove-and-banana taste to it, which I realize is sort of the trademark of a hefeweisen, but that doesn’t always come through clearly. It does here, and it is refreshing and delightful.
Between the food, the drink, and the last vestiges of sunlight lighting our meal, it was quite a fantastic evening. Check the pics at the end of the post, and you can see for yourself!
Sunday we also tried new recipes, to varying degrees of success. There was an herb-crusted turkey tenderloin which ended up being quite tasty and ever so tender. There was also an experiment with a rice “pilaf” recipe that used roasted red peppers and capers in lieu of the more traditional ingredients. It was okay, but I was a little heavy on the capers–they were like little salt bombs! It was a bit much. We’ll have to tweak that if we use that again.
Monday brought more grill fun and some good old fashioned stubbornness on our parts. We were determined to grill, and to enjoy a little picnic on our porch, because Friday was so delightful! So Chris mixed up some hamburgers for us, and they were awesome! He added about a clove of fresh, minced garlic, some dried herbs, and a little Worcestershire sauce, and then we topped them with cheddar. All on a challah roll. So. Good. The roll really held up to the burger. They didn’t get all soggy like many rolls can tend to do, even when I loaded mine up with ketchup and cut into the burger. (Throwing the rolls on the grill for a minute helped, too.) We also had a little bit of the potato salad left from Friday and I had up a nice salad with all the works in it–pepper, cucumber, egg, croutons, etc. And of course, we worked on finishing off the Hefeweisen as well–can’t have it sitting to long in a growler, or it will go flat. The food, as you can see, was lovely. The company–Chris and the pup– was similarly lovely. Mother Nature, however? Not so lovely. It was pouring. All out, cats-and-dogs, pouring-down rain, and we just sat out on our little porch watching the street turn to a river. The lightning was significant and impressive as the storm rolled closer, then drifted out of range…and still we sat on our little porch, feeling a bit odd but also on top of the world.
Our grill is a fantastic new edition to our house. I predict a summer full of grilling and front-porch picnics. I can’t wait to get some more chairs and a better table so we can invite some people to come join us!