Sunday, June 29, 2014

Taste of Home: Käsekuchen (German cheesecake)

I'm actually not a fan of sweets in general, but growing up in Germany, I made an exception for cheesecake.  After I moved to the States, I discovered that American cheesecake is quite different from the stuff I grew up with.

American cheesecake is dense - brick-like.  You could probably hurt someone by hitting them with a New York style cheesecake.  It's also rich; I don't even want to know how many calories are in a slice of American cheesecake. 

German cheesecake is light and fluffy.  It's got a crust that's to die for and a creamy melt-on your tongue filling.  It's great stuff - and almost low cal.  (OK, that last one may be an exaggeration, but it's good stuff, if I may say so myself.)

Unfortunately, as many German cheesecake lovers discover when they get to the States, one of the necessary ingredients is not available for purchase in many parts of the United States.  Making cheesecake requires "quark" - a white cheese that has the consistency of sour cream, but the flavor of a cottage cheese or ricotta.  Here in Kentucky, I can purchase quark in Cincinnati at Jungle Jim's for about $7 per 1/2 lb or so. If I ignore the cost of the road trip to Cincinnati, that amounts to a $30 cheesecake, and that's just a bit much for an everyday cheesecake. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Taste of Home: Kartoffelsalat (German potato salad) UPDATED!

At my house making potato salad used to require planning, because the recipe I blogged about before  called for an overnight stay in the fridge.  In addition, I would always cook potatoes specifically for the salad, because I was convinced that refrigerated potatoes would not work.

But then, during a trip to Germany, my son asked my mother to make potato salad for dinner - about 30 minutes before dinner was to take place.  I figured that it could not be done.

Apparently, my mother disagreed.  She pulled out some boiled potatoes from the day before from the fridge and fixed German potato salad in about 10 minutes flat. At dinner, my son remarked: "Mom, Oma's potato salad is still better than yours!" Back in the US I worked on improving my recipe - and I do think it's much better now, if I do say so myself.

So, without further ado, here is the recipe I use now: