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)
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
*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.