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Kaiserschmarrn, apple strudel and apricot dumplings: traditional Austrian cuisine is famous for its flour and sweet dishes. This time, the famous emperor and empress were invited to the table for a cooking evening with friends! Empress Sissi loves sweet Austrian dishes and Emperor Franz Joseph orders one of his favourite hearty stir-fry dishes. This are our recipes from the Austrian Cooking Challenge.
Since my last visit to Vienna with a good friend and true Viennese, I have been in love with Austrian cuisine! Heavenly apricot dumplings, tender Schnitzel and deliciously hearty Kaspressknödel – when we cooked on the Austrian Cooking Challenge, it wasn’t at all easy for us to decide on our menu this time.
Cooking together with friends is one of the nicest ways for us to spend our free time at home. Whether you are an amateur cook, a baking fairy, an epicure or a gourmand: cooking creatively with each other and eating the delicious creations together is pure Dolce Vita. We challenge each other to a cooking challenge and give each other a theme to that we put into practice in teams of two or in group cooking with friends. This regularly results in incredibly delicious recipes, creative menu creations and unforgettable moments.
Even before things got hot in the kitchen during the cooking, a battle between two fronts broke out. For Empress and amateur cook Sissi, there was no question: nothing beats the famous Austrian sweet pastries as the main course. The Emperor and cook Franz Joseph, on the other hand, vehemently defended his position, ‘only flour pasteboard makes for a nasty Kaiser mood!”.
As a true empress, Sissi defended her sweet strudel and pancake dreams and, after a fierce battle, was even prepared for a hearty potato strudel. Just like in the old days of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the king and empress finally grudgingly agreed on a compromise. At the Austrian Cooking Challenge there were two Austrian dishes from the pan – and none of them was a pastry! Nevertheless, there was a sweet treat for the empress. 😉
Tiroler Gröstl is a traditional, typically Austrian dish and was originally a leftover meal. In the past, expensive meat was only eaten on certain occasions – and these often fell on Sundays and church holidays. That is why the Sunday roast still has its name today.
In Austria, the leftovers from the Sunday roast were often made into a Gröstl on Monday. For this, the leftover potatoes, the beef or roast pork cut into bite-sized pieces, onions, spices and herbs were fried in a pan with a good amount of clarified butter.
But our warm Tyrolean Gröstl salad can’t do without lots of fresh vegetables and roasted bacon!
The day before, wash 1 kg of potatoes thoroughly and boil them in salted water for about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and leave to cool. Peel while still warm and set aside.
When cooking with friends, it is good to divide the tasks. One of you should slice the peeled, cold potatoes from the day before. Another should also cut the cold roast into equal-sized pieces. And the next one can start by dicing the onion and finely slicing the garlic. Now quarter the mushrooms and cut the red pepper into bite-sized strips or pieces as you like. Put aside 4 mushroom styles and 8 pepper strips each for decoration.
In a large, shallow pan, add 2 tbsp clarified butter and sauté the potato slices over medium heat, turning frequently, along with the diced onion and garlic slices. After 5 minutes, add the peppers, mushrooms and roast pieces. Fry for a further 7 minutes, turning frequently. Salt and pepper well and season with cumin, 1 tbsp parsley, 1 tsp dried thyme and 1 tsp marjoram.
Meanwhile, one of you can cut the pancetta into strips and fry it together with the thin bacon slices in a well-coated pan until crispy. The bacon is ready when it is browned and crispy.
Now heap a portion of the warm Gröstl salad on each plate and top with the bacon strips and a slice of bacon. Finally, make the Austrian flag from the mushroom stalks and two strips of paprika and place it on the dish..
Tip: If you don’t have any leftover cold roasts at home, you can also sear pork schnitzel or beef steaks and use them for the Tyrolean Gröstl salad.
Grain and curd are the basis for the delicious Nockerln – dumplings cooked in water – a highlight of Austrian cuisine. We have modified a classic Nockerln recipe and baked out our dessert creation to boot.
First pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour the semolina into a mixing bowl, pour the hot milk on top and stir in the semolina until it has absorbed the milk. Then add 400 g of low-fat quark and stir in well until it forms a thick mass.
Separate all 4 eggs. Add the egg yolks to the lukewarm curd and semolina mixture, reserving the egg whites in a separate bowl. Stir the egg yolks in well immediately. Then add a good pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat with a hand mixer. Scrape out the vanilla pod and mix the vanilla pulp with the sugar. Now add the flour and mix. Add the dry ingredients to the curd mixture and stir in. At the end, carefully fold the stiff beaten egg whites into the quark mixture until it is evenly distributed.
Pour the breadcrumbs onto a saucer and roll 1 tablespoon of curd semolina mixture in the breadcrumbs for each biscuit.
Then heat the oil in a coated pan and place the breaded semolina biscuits in the pan. Fry at medium to low temperature until golden brown on both sides. Place the biscuits on a sheet of kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
Meanwhile, remove the cream from the fridge and whip with cream stiffener and 1 tbsp vanilla sugar until stiff. At the end, carefully fold in a dash of amaretto.
Arrange two warm semolina biscuits on each plate and place the Austrian flag with two redcurrant branches and the amaretto cream. Sweeten to taste with icing sugar on the plate.
Tip: To keep the amaretto cream stiff, use the amaretto only at the very end and also add cream stiffener for safety.
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