Viennese Ball (May 6, 2002)
Ah, Vienna...We hadn't thought of Austria in a long time, and then,
just a few days ago, three delightful new cookbooks came across
our desk. Next in the mail was an invitation from the Austrian Wine
Marketing Board to come and taste their wonderful wines. Clearly
this was a story waiting in the wings!
We think food first, and have had a Viennese Ball looking into
ideas and recipes. Our first stop was with our good friend and colleague,
Thelma Barer Stein, and her seminal book, You Eat What You Are.
If it is eaten by someone anywhere in the world, Dr. Stein knows
the where, how and why of the dish. She told us what the Austrians
are eating today, so we put together a menu that we hope you'll
enjoy as much as we did!
The Austrians love pork, and we found a fabulous recipe that surely
they will be wolfing down today! The source isn't Austrian, it's
American, The Foster's Market Cookbook, by Sara Foster, and
it's possibly the best and most exciting new cookbook we've seen
in a long time. Foster trained and worked with Martha Stewart, cooked
at New York's famed SoHo Charcuterie and went on to work with Jonathan
Waxman when he moved east from California. Sara Foster is a great
cook, and you'll wonder how you ever made do without The Foster's
Market Cookbook in your kitchen!
Then along came another delightful collection, Cooking From
the Hip, by the young and very talented German-Canadian Chef
Olaf Mertens. He was apprenticing under great chefs before he could
vote, led Team Canada to a medal in the Epicurean World Master Chefs'
Society International banqueting competition, and according to his
colleagues, "His touch with food is like butter-smooth and
rich and truly a necessity to any great dish." HIP, by the
way, is Mertens' acronym for Hospitality-Inspired People, a collection
of like-minded food geniuses dedicated to mastering new ideas, updating
old concepts and share it all with their customers in their restaurants.
One of our favourites, The Chez Piggy Cookbook, always has
a recipe we want, whatever the culinary heritage, and indeed it
proved its worth again. No wonder the eponymous restaurant in Kingston,
begun in 1979, is still going strong!
Nobody does grand finales better than the Austrians, and indeed
Rick Rodgers' new Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic
Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague bears this out.
This is a beautiful book, with great photographs and recipes plus
the long and fascinating history of those glorious pastry cafés
from the capital cities of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Years ago,
our first Austrian phrase was "Mit Schlagobers, bitte,"
or "Of course I want that rich dessert piled with whipped cream,"
and it so aptly sums up all those decadent, rich, sinful confections,
the ultimate treats so perfect with dark roasted coffee.
Ah, Vienna indeed! Sigh.
On today's menu:
Download these recipes in printable
form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (278 KB)
Roast Pork Tenderloin with Dried Cherries and
Thelma Barer Stein states that pork is a favoured meat, accompanied
by a rich gravy or sauce. This version comes from The Foster's
Market Cookbook, and we know in our hearts that even the most
traditional Austrian would love the tender pork loin bathed in a
fragrant cherry-rosemary marinade.
2 1-pound pork tenderloins (1 kg)
1/2 cup dried cherries (125 mL)
1/3 cup dry red wine (75 mL)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (50 mL)
3/4 cup good quality, all natural cranberry juice or unfiltered
apple juice (175 mL)
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 shallots, cut in half lengthwise
3 Tbsp fresh rosemary (50 mL) or 3 tsp dried (15 mL)
2 Tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
2. Rinse the pork loin, pat dry and place in a shallow glass or
ceramic-baking dish. Set aside.
3. Whisk together the cherries, wine, vinegar, cranberry juice,
garlic, shallots, and rosemary in a bowl. Pour this mixture over
the pork, cover, and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight, turning
the pork several times.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium
heat. Remove the pork from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and
place the pork in the heated skillet. Cook the pork on all sides,
5 to 6 minutes total time, until light brown.
You can go either white or red with this dish. Medium-bodied
dry white or medium-bodied dry red. If you want to stick
to the Austrian idiom, try a Grüner Veltliner (Smaragd
quality) or a Riesling from Undhof-Salomon, Bründlmayer
or the Freie Weingärtner. For reds, an Austrian Blauburgunder.
In general terms, an Alsace or Oregon Pinot Gris or –
red – Moulin-ŕ-Vent (Beaujolais) or red Burgundy.
5. Pour the reserved marinade over the pork and place the skillet
in the oven. Roast, basting several times, 20 to 25 minutes or until
a meat thermometer registers 150–155°F (65°C) for medium,
or 160°F, about 5 minutes longer, for medium well. The meat
will be a very light pink colour. (Note: the pork will continue
to cook after it is removed from the oven.)
6. Remove the pork from the baking dish and place on a grooved
carving board. Cover the pork loosely and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes
7. Season with salt and pepper. Slice into 1/4-inch (5 mm) pieces
and spoon the pan juice over the pork. Serve immediately.
Variations: Dried cranberries or raisins can be substituted
for the dried cherries.
Olaf's Schnitzel Stack
What else? From Cooking From the Hip, and we promise this
isn't just any old schnitzel, this one is Olaf Mertens' grandmother's
special dish, the one waiting for him after a long flight across
the Atlantic. Don't cut back on the cream here, as it elevates this
dish to simply divine.
8 3-oz veal scalloppini (85 g)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour (120 mL)
1/2 cup 35% cream (120 mL)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup 35% cream, whipped (120 mL)
3 to 4 cups dry breadcrumbs (720–960 mL)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (120 mL)
Vegetable oil for frying
Season the veal cutlets with salt and pepper. Take three flat bowls.
In the first bowl, put the flour. In the second bowl, whisk the
liquid cream with the eggs and fold in the whipped cream. In the
third bowl put the breadcrumbs. Dredge each piece of veal in the
flour, pat off any excess, and dip into the cream mixture. Press
into the bread crumbs on both sides.
Chill the breaded meat for 30 minutes. Heat a deep frying pan with
the butter and oil to medium-high and pan-fry the cutlets until
Remove onto a paper towel and pat off any excess cooking oil.
Again, you can go either white or red with this dish,
depending on your preference, especially with the lemon
caper relish that calls for some acidity. New World Sauvignon
Blanc or Valpolicella.
Presentation: To present this dish, stack two pieces of
veal, one on top of the other, to one side of each plate and top
with a large spoonful of Lemon Caper Relish. Serve with roasted
potatoes on the side.
Olaf's Tip: By using whipped cream along with the regular
cream, you will get a much crispier coating. You could substitute
the veal with pork or chicken.
Lemon Caper Relish
A perfect piquant accompaniment to the schnitzel. You'll want to
make up a double batch and keep in the fridge for other meats and
Makes 1˝ cups (360 mL)
3 lemons, juice of
1 tsp Dijon mustard (5 mL)
1/4 tsp white pepper (1.2 mL)
1/2 cup olive oil (120 mL)
3 lemons, peeled, seedless segments
1/4 cup drained capers (60 mL)
1 shallot, finely diced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chervil (15 mL)
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (120 mL)
Salt to taste
In a small bowl, place the lemon juice, mustard, and pepper and
slowly whisk in the olive oil until it is lightly emulsified and
will coat the back of the spoon. Fold in the rest of the ingredients
and season with salt.
Asparagus and Hard Cooked Egg Salad
|Asparagus and eggs: two beloved foods on an Austrian
table. Eggs are most often eaten boiled or hard-cooked or as
a garnish or ingredient, states Thelma Barer-Stein, and look
what we found from Chez Piggy, the celebrated restaurant and
bakery in Kingston, Ontario, owned by Rose Richardson and her
husband Zal Yanovsky, a former member of the band The Lovin'
Spoonful. It opened in 1979 and has been packed ever since,
serving delighted patrons food from a wide and wonderful variety
of cultures, from Newfie to Vietnamese, Jewish to Mexican. It's
no wonder they have the ultimate salad for asparagus lovers.
The Chez Piggy Cookbook reflects the amazing history
of this remarkable eatery. It's as much fun to read as it is
Serves 4 to 6
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (15 mL)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (2 mL)
2/3 cup olive oil (150 mL)
2 shallots, chopped, or 2 Tbsp (25 mL) very finely chopped red
1 egg, hard-cooked, white separated from yolk
1 Tbsp capers, coarsely chopped (15 mL)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chervil or chives (25 mL)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed and rinsed (1 kg)
In a bowl, mix together lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, oil and
shallots or onion. Finely chop egg white and add to vinaigrette.
Go Sauvignon Blanc – Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre
from the Loire Valley or New Zealand or Ontario Sauvignon.
Finely chop egg yolk, and mix with capers and chervil or chives.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Tie asparagus in bundles, and cook upright in boiling salted water
until stem ends are tender. Refresh under cold water, and drain.
Arrange asparagus on individual plates. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
Garnish with egg-yolk mixture.
Berry Meringue Slices
Lighter than the usual Schlagobers (cream) slathered pastry,
this sliced, or schnitten, dessert from Vienna's Café
Diglas is still a winner. Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts
from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague
tells us that the Austrians usually make it with red currants,
which have a very short season, but fresh blueberries are
just as wonderful. We loved the variation with raspberries,
Makes 12 servings (well, it also serves four handsomely!)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (325 mL)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (7 mL)
Pinch of salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar (250 mL)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (30 mL)
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar (260 mL)
4 cups fresh blueberries (1 L)
3 Tbsp confectioners' sugar (50 mL)
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F
(180°C). Lightly butter and flour a 13 × 9 inch baking
pan, tapping out the excess flour.
2. To make the cake: Stir the flour, baking powder and salt to
combine. Beat the butter in a medium bowl with a handheld electric
mixer on high speed until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light
in color and texture, about 3 minutes. One at a time, beat in the
eggs, then the vanilla. On low speed, in two additions, beat in
the flour mixture. Beat in the lemon juice and zest.
3. Spread evenly in the pan. Bake until golden and the top springs
back when pressed in the center, about 25 minutes. Remove from the
oven and set on a wire rack while making the meringue. Increase
the oven temperature to 450°F (230°C).
4. To make the topping: beat the egg whites in a large bowl until
they form soft peaks. Gradually beat into the granulated sugar until
the whites are stiff and shiny. Toss the blueberries and confectioners'
sugar in a medium bowl. Spread the berries in a single layer over
the cake, then spread with the meringue.
A very sweet dessert requires a wine even sweeter than
the dessert. Either forget the wine or go with Asti Spumante
or an Austrian sweet wine from Willi Opitz, Lang or Kracher.
5. Bake until the meringue is lightly tipped with brown, 3 to 5
minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. To serve, cut into 12 rectangles
with a sharp knife dipped in hot water and serve from the pan.
Raspberry Slices: Substitute 4 cups fresh raspberries for
the blueberries. Increase the confectioners' sugar to 4 tablespoons.
Red Currant Slices: Substitute 4 cups stemmed fresh red
currants for the blueberries. Increase the confectioners' sugar
to 1/2 cup.
We wish to thank the following for permission to publish material,
recipes and photographs:
You Eat What You Are: People, Culture and Food Traditions
by Thelma Barer-Stein, Ph.D., is published by Firefly Books, Ltd.
The Foster's Market Cookbook by Sara Foster is published
by Random House, New York. Photographs by James Baigrie.
Cooking from the Hip by Olaf Mertens is published by Whitecap
Books. Food photography by Christopher Freeland.
The Chez Piggy Cookbook, compiled by Victoria Newbury, is
published by Firefly Books, Ltd. Food photography by Garfield Peters.
Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés
of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers is published
by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York. Photographs by Kelly Bugden.
If you are close to Toronto, The Austrian Wine Marketing Board
and The Austrian Consulate General in Toronto are holding a special
wine tasting on May 7, 2002, at the National Club, 303 Bay Street
(King Subway), between 5 and 7 p.m., cost: $ 30 p.p., light buffet
included, RSVP to Birgitta Samavarchian, 416-967-3348, ext. 18.
For more information, please phone (1) 416-967-3348, ext. 18, or
Happily tested by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.
Download these recipes in printable
form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (278 KB)