Sunday, October 4, 2009

Oktoberfest Dinner Date

October is here, and I knew I just had to do an Oktoberfest dinner date! My husband and I went to Germany a few years ago, and on our last night in the Bavarian Alps we had the most amazing dinner. Just thinking of it now can send us both into fits of drool. My Oktoberfest dinner date was an attempt to recreate that dinner (though on a slightly smaller and less sausage-intensive scale!). The wienerschnitzel nuggets and savory green beans were a huge hit with the kids!

Wienerschnitzel Nuggets

1 pork tenderloin (1-1.25 lbs)
4 cups fresh bread crumbs (not dried, and white bread works fantastically)
salt & pepper
3 eggs
olive oil for pan frying

Slice the pork tenderloin into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Toss the bread crumbs with some salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Beat the eggs with a fork in a separate shallow bowl. Dip the pork tenderloin slices into the egg and coat with the bread crumbs.

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Fry breaded pork slices for 3-5 minutes per side, until a golden crust has formed and the nugget is cooked through.

Savory Green Beans

1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
3 slices bacon, chopped small
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp canola oil
salt & pepper

In a large pan, fry bacon and shallot together over medium heat, until bacon is starting to crisp and shallot is translucent and tender. Add 1/4 cup water and the green beans. Cook, stirring, until water is evaporated and beans are crisp-tender.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Add salt & pepper to taste. Pour over the green beans, tossing to mix.

Black Forest Cupcakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup dried cherries

1 pint heavy cream

fresh or frozen cherries, pitted, for decorating the tops

Prepare enough muffin tins for about 24 cupcakes (either grease or line with cupcake liners). Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for one minute. Add sugar; beat well till combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each (scraping the bowl if necessary). Beat in the chocolate and the vanilla. Alternate adding the dry flour mixture and the water, beating after each addition. Stir in the dried cherries.

Fill each muffin cup 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

When the cupcakes are cool, beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer until peaks form. Top each cupcake with a dollop of whipped cream and a cherry.

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Now of course, we all know what Oktoberfest means....

But, if you're pregnant like Celeste, or under 21 like the girls, or just generally not a drinker, I cannot recommend this Virgil's root beer highly enough! I found it at Trader Joe's, so it doesn't have all the icky artificial stuff. And it was GOOD.

The girls hated it, but Celeste and I don't allow them to have carbonated drinks as a rule, so they were appalled by the fizz. But Celeste and I thought it was tasty!

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