Introducing: German Recipe Monday

Today I want to tell you about a new section on this blog, the German Recipe Monday! I’ve had several requests to post more German recipes and here they are. So let’s start with a Swiss one, shall we? No, I am not going around, claiming recipes from other European countries were originally invented in Germany. In fact, many of our popular recipes originated outside of Germany. Yes, we have thousands of local recipes. But many popular dishes served in homes and at restaurants come from somwhere else. Like this dish, which is from Zürich, Switzerland. It is called Züri-Gschnätzlets in Zürich German and Züricher Geschnetzeltes in German. But if you want to call your dish like that, you have to make it with veal. So I guess we don’t want to call it Züricher Geschnetzeltes. We can still call it Geschnetzeltes though as it basically means “cut up”. Usually it is meat that is cut into strips and cooked in a cream sauce. Many German versions call for Schnitzel meat and vegan versions are oftem made with TVP strips or seitan.

For my version I used tempeh and mushrooms. Mushrooms are often part of the original recipe. They also add great texture. Geschnetzeltes is similar to Beef Stroganoff – I guess the main difference is that Beef Stroganoff calls for sour cream instead of the regular cream used for Geschnetzeltes.

I made a cream based on sunflower seed kernels:  I  soaked 70 g (1/2 cup) of sunflower seeds in 240 ml (1 cup) of water and later blended the soaked seeds with 120 ml (1/2 cup) of water.

As you can see above, the cream was a bit too thick, so I added another 60 ml (1/4 cup) of liquid. It has a nice colour but compared to cashew cream, it has a stronger taste of its own. If you don’t mind that, this is a very simple and inexpensive alternative to soy creamer. For this recipe, I used vegetable broth. If you want to use dry white wine instead, go ahead. In that case leave out the white wine vinegar.

Tempeh and Mushroom Geschnetzeltes (serves 2)

adapted from this recipe

70 g (1/2 cup) sunflower seed kernels, soaked for 5-6 hours in 1 cup water, drained
180 ml (3/4 cup) water, divided
1/2 teaspoon sugar

3 teaspoons oil, divided
200 g (7 oz) tempeh, cut into 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick rounds and quartered*
200 g (7 oz) brown or white button mushrooms, sliced into 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, diced
120 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable broth
1 cup sunflower seed cream**
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley
*Yes, our tempeh is round.  If yours is rectangular, just cut it into strips. If you want, you can steam your tempeh first, to take away any bitterness.
**Don’t discard the rest. Mix it with 1/4 cup of water and reserve. You can use this to thin down your sauce to a desired consistency later.

To make the cream:

Place soaked sunflower seed kernels in a blender. Add 120 ml (1/2 cup) water and blend on high speed, until smooth. Add remaining water and sugar and blend again. The mixture should resemble regular (unwhipped) cream.

To make the Geschnetzeltes:

Heat two teaspoons of oil in a non-stick pan. Add tempeh and mushrooms and fry over medium to high heat for five minutes, stirring often. Add salt and fry for five more minutes until the tempeh starts to brown. Remove from pan and transfer to a plate. Heat the remaining oil (use the same pan) and add diced onion. Fry over medium heat for five minutes. Add tempeh and mushrooms, vegetable broth, white wine vinegar, and 1 cup of sunflower seed cream. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about five minutes. If you think it is too thick for your taste, use some of the leftover cream to thin it down to a desired consistency. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh parsley.

22 thoughts on “Introducing: German Recipe Monday

  1. German recipe monday is a great idea – I like your recipe-style very much!
    And I love “Geschnetzeltes”, ´cause when I was a child, my mom had to make it about once a week (my brother and me didn´t eat much more than that kind of meal…we were very picky). Not vegan of course…and since I became vegan, I like Geschnetzeltes with a lot of mushrooms and somtimes Tofu, but I never tried Tempeh (but I´ll do :-)). The sunflower-cream sounds really delicious, it´s a good alternative to soy-cream and much cheaper than cashews. And i always have sunflowerseeds at home – so, I´ll try it, too. Thanks for that inspiration:-)

  2. This looks so creamy and divine. Love the German Recipe Mondays idea– I don’t know a whole lot about German cooking, so I am really looking forward to learning lots of delicious new dishes from you.

  3. Wow, what a great idea!
    Seeing as I’m from Germany, too: Which blender did you use for the sunflower cream? Mine just seems too … weak. Also, do you own a food processor? Which can you recommend (I’d love to prepare my own nut butters)? Sorry for the many questions!

  4. This looks great! I love making homemade creams out of nuts/seeds instead of buying pre-made stuff, because, well, I’m not that wealthy. :) Cashew cream is the old favorite but using sunflower seeds is so much more affordable and I think they taste lovely! Your photo/presentation is gorgeous too, I know I would be scratching my head at how to make that stewy concoction look pretty!

  5. The way it looks reminds me of vol-au-vent (a chicken dish). I’ll have to try it! Vol-au-vent is frequently served in a puff pastry casing with fries on the side.

  6. 1) This looks amazingly delicious! I’m so excited about German Recipe Mondays.
    2) Round tempeh?! Cool! Somehow I think the round shape would be more fun than rectangles. Or at least equally as fun. It would be nice to just marinate and grill and use for burgers. The rectangles are too thick and long to use for sandwiches as is (okay, now I just sound really obsessed with the tempeh)

    1. I never thought of using the tempeh for burgers. That is such a great idea! The tempeh slices would be a bit too small for regular buns, but with homemade ones it would work out. I have to try this!

  7. Oh my god Mihl! This looks so good! I love stroganoff-style dishes. I just pinned this because I WILL be making it soon. I have German ancestry (my great grandpa moved to the States from Germany), so I should make more German recipes to honor my roots. I look forward to these German Recipe Mondays. Also, thanks for including the cups and tablespoons. It makes things easier for dumb Americans like me!

  8. Love love love the German Mondays! Maybe I should do Swedish XXXday? This recipe sounds awesome. I’ve never thought about making sunflower seed cream but it must be great, considering how much I love homemade streich. Whenever I get my hands on some tempeh, this will be a priority.

    1. Thank you! Sunflower seeds are so much cheaper than cashews over here. And they are just as versatile. Please do a Swedish day! I would love this, I love your Swedish recipes.

      1. I never buy cashews because I just laugh out of sadness when I see the price on them, so I’ll definitely try sunflower seeds more. I use them instead of cashews when making the balsamic dressing from Appetite for Reduction though, and it works very well.

  9. this looks delicious. the sunflower cream seems like a good way to omit soy cream. you should serve the “züri gschnätzlets” with rösti (hash browns) though for the real swiss experience… greetings from zürich ;)

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