Family, Friends and Cafe Berlin

This is a guest post from personal chef and culinary instructor Kathryn Furman

Good morning and Merry Christmas Eve! I love this time of year. The lights, the music and especially the food! This is the time when everyone pulls out all the stops, forgets the diets and just eats for pure enjoyment.

That being said, last night we went out to CAFE BERLIN for dinner–a perfect place to go on a cold and snowy night. It is a small German restaurant in downtown Denver with good a atmosphere, good libations and definitely good food. I have eaten here before and I am never disappointed.

I sipped a glass of dry Riesling, as I perused the menu. I usually order something different whenever I am in there, but last night I went back to my favorite, the Jagerschnitzel. A classic German dish of breaded pork in a creamy mushroom sauce. A good hearty meal after a 2 block walk in the snow.

I started off with a bowl of White Bean and Bratwurst soup, which was very good. It was a solid broth base with a nice blend of beans. diced brats and spices. After a decent time interval ( I hate restaurants that bring your entree before you even finish you starter!!!) my Jagerschnitzel arrived.

It was exactly as I remembered. A perfect blend of pork, mushrooms and sauce, nothing over powering the rest of the ingredients. I chose spatzel and the green beans with bacon as my sides. I like my vegetables on the crisp side, so I thought the beans were a bit overcooked but still very good. There was just a bit of bacon in the beans but they must have been sauteed in bacon fat because they were very flavorful.

Everyone at the table ordered something different and of course there was a bit of sharing going on, which is the way family meals should be. We ordered the apple strudel and chocolate cake for dessert and 6 forks. Both were wonderful, but since the chocolate cake had a hint of cherry to it, I stuck to the cake.

As we left Cafe Berlin, we were treated to a shot of Apple Schnapps and a Fröhliche Weihnachten! Overall a great evening.

I am including a recipe for Jagerschnitzel that I make. It does not have a heavy cream sauce, so it is a bit healthier. You can always make a sauce for it if you prefer. This recipe will serve 4 to 16 people depending on if it is the whole meal or one of several courses.

Mise en Place:
Sauce pot, meat mallet, plastic wrap, nonstick frying pan, a large plate, a small mixing bowl and a serving platter

Jagerschnitzel:

–6 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided into 2 and 4 teaspoons
–3 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
–3 cups coarsely chopped red bell peppers
–2 cups coarsely chopped onions
–1 cup thinly sliced carrots
–2 minced garlic cloves
–1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes undrained
–1 tablespoon all purpose flour
–1 teaspoon paprika
–2 tablespoons water
–1 lb Pork tenderloin
–1/2 teaspoon coarsley ground pepper
–1/4 teaspoon salt

Trim fat off of pork and slice crosswise into about 16 pieces. Place between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and flatten into 1/4 inch thickness with the mallet. (If you do not have a mallet, use a rolling pin or the base of a drinking glass). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside on the large plate.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in the sauce pan over med-high heat. Add next 5 ingredients and saute for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.

While vegetables are cooking, Place the frying pan with 4 teaspoons oil on med-high heat. When hot ( splash a little water into pan, if it pops, the oil is hot) add pork in batches and cook 4 minutes per side. When each batch is done set it on to the serving platter, try not to overlap the cutlets.

In a small bowl, combine flour, paprika and water. Stir into tomato mixture cook 3 min until slightly thick. Do this while last batch of pork is cooking.

The serving of this meal is very versatile. I usually serve this with egg noodles, and either place the egg noodles, sauce and pork in different serving bowls and platters, or put the egg noodles in a bowl and the pork, with the sauce over it, on a separate platter. A third option is individual plates, egg noodles, pork then sauce.

Hope you enjoy!

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    mmmm – Cafe Berlin rocks! The schnitzel with the fried egg, anchovies and capers is my absolute favorite! cn

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