Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking German
Invitation to Dine
Published: September 19, 2000
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The former First Lady of the German Federal Republic, Christiane Herzog was no stranger to entertaining. An enthusiastic and accomplished cook, she compiled over 175 recipes from her personal collection in Invitation to Dine. Many of the
recipes were handed down from her grandmothers and Herzog adapted them for her own family and the changing culinary times. "No one will be surprised to learn that my cuisine is predominately southern German in style," she says. "It may remind you of your
homeland, or of a holiday, but in any case the recipes are so tasty, it's worth trying them."
She begins with light dishes, sauces, and salads such as Chicken Liver Terrine and Coleslaw and Bacon Salad, which will whet the appetite. Soups and
stews are a staple in her family--and are easy, one-pot meals when accompanied by a salad and hearty bread. Try smooth Pumpkin Soup or Chicken Stew with carrots, leeks, and a touch of cream. The meat and game dishes may seem exotic--to say the least--to
the American palate, but Europeans have been enjoying such delicacies as Ox Tongue in White Wine and Sautéed Calf's Head for centuries. Less adventurous cooks should take a look at the Sauerbraten or Leg of Lamb in a Mustard Crust. Many of the poultry
recipes are one-pot meals with roasted chicken or turkey with a variety of vegetables that can be prepared ahead of time. The chapter on potatoes, pasta, and vegetarian dishes includes Braised Red Cabbage, Potato Strudel, and Asparagus au Gratin. Herzog
offers a wide range of desserts and pastries from simple Fresh Marinated Figs (bathed in cognac, cream, and Muscatel) to Almond Pudding with Rose Hips to Chocolate Cranberry Torte.
For anyone who has been to Germany or grew up with a German
influence, Invitation to Dine is bound to bring back rich memories. Herzog well represents the cuisine and culture of the region. --Dana Van Nest
Although the recipes in INVITATION TO DINE come from the collection of the
First Lady of the German Federal Republic, they are not the difficult and fancy dishes one might expect from such a source. Rather, these are recipes that have been handed down through Christiane Herzog's family--from one of her great-grandmothers, both
her grandmothers, her mother-in-law, and other relatives. And they represent the traditional kinds of dishes eaten from day to day in what may now be seen as simpler times. As a result, readers will find in these pages many easy-to-prepare, inexpensive,
and one-pot meals, which, when accompanied by a simple salad, comprised daily family fare--and that still make wonderful family dinners today.
Because she is herself an accomplished cook, Christiane Herzog has not only adapted these recipes to
incorporate modern ingredients and methods, she has also transformed them with her own ideas and imagination to create a tasty and tempting selection of dishes to serve both family and guests. From an elegant Leg of Lamb in a Mustard Crust to a homey
Stuffed Roast Chicken, from dumplings to mashed potatoes, and from yeast cake to apple strudel, there is something here to delight every palate and to suit every occasion.
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