I am very happy that fall has finally arrived! By far, fall is definitely my favourite season of them all since it comes with warm drinks, cozy sweaters, and new delicious produce (think apples, cruciferous veggies, squash, pears) that make the perfect cozy and warming comfort foods. It also means that since it cooler and you are wearing warmer sweaters, there is a greater opportunity to make a bit of extra room for some tasty desserts! Haha 🙂
As I alluded to, fall is all about hearty, soul-filling comfort foods for me. Everyone has them—that special dish that makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. For me, this includes hearty soups and stews, meatballs that have simmered all day in a big pot of tomato sauce, mac and cheese (and other carby casseroles), spiced cakes and sweet desserts. The list could literally go on and on….and trust me it does. The list is so long that I have enough recipes to share with you for the next 3-4 years, so it’s safe to say I’ve got you covered!
To start off the season, I want to share two of my favourite classic German comfort food recipes, since it is Oktoberfest after all! The Germans definitely know how to celebrate the beginning of fall—with lots of sausages, schnitzel and beer in a two-week long festival!
First up, I have a classic Spaetzle recipe. Spaetzle are simply small dumplings that are cooked in boiling water and seasoned with parsley and butter. I like to take my spaetzle one step further and fry them in butter so that they get nice and crisp. The batter is very easy to make and it requires basic ingredients that you likely have in your fridge and pantry already: flour, eggs, milk, butter, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg. I love the nutmeg flavour in this recipe since it adds a nice soft and warm taste to the spaetzle.
It is definitely helpful if you have a special German spaetzle maker that allows you to create the dumplings really easily, but if you don’t, you can still make this recipe if you have a box grater! I simply spoon the batter into the box grater and then press the batter through the large holes of the grater using a rubber spatula. The batter naturally breaks off into little dumplings once it’s pushed through the grater and they fall into a pot of boiling water where they cook for 4-5 minutes until they float. Once cooked, I drain and transfer the little dumplings to a frying pan (with a healthy nob of butter) and fry them until golden. I then garnish the spaetzle with some parsley for some bright fresh flavour! If you think these spaetzle look delicious and want to make some this fall, check out the recipe here!
I also pulled together a traditional Pork Schnitzel recipe that can be served two ways: plain with a squeeze of lemon or topped off with a spoonful of mushroom sauce (to yield a Jägerschnitzel). I really like both of these recipes, but I slightly prefer the Jägerschnitzel because mushrooms have a wonderful woodsy fall flavour!
Both recipes start out the same by making the breaded pork. I pound some boneless pork chops out until they are super thin, and then bread them in the traditional breading fashion: flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs. I like to mix regular breadcrumbs with some Japanese panko breadcrumbs as the panko adds a bit more texture to the breading. Once all breaded, I fry the breaded pork in a pan with some butter and olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Again, you can serve these as they are with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of parsley if you wish, but you can take it to the next level by making a delicious mushroom sauce to serve with it!
To make the mushroom sauce, I simply fry some onion and mushrooms in some butter until they have softened along with some thyme. I then add flour to thicken the sauce, along with some chicken stock. I then let the sauce simmer until it has thickened and then finish the sauce off with a squeeze of lemon and some chopped parsley. Delish! Check out the full recipe here!
Serve these delicious German recipes with a nice cold pint of pilsner and you have a wonderful treat for this Oktoberfest or anytime throughout fall! I hope that you give these recipes a try!
That’s all for today! Stay tuned for more delicious comfort food recipes coming this week! And next week, we are going to be preparing for Canadian Thanksgiving! I can’t wait to cook up a storm this weekend and I can’t wait to show you what I come up with 🙂