Potatoes and cheese are beaten together with crème fraiche until they form silky, smooth ribbons of pureed potato. It’s a deliciously hearty recipe, and it’s tempting to eat it all by itself, in the dead of winter, for its sheer comfort value. Try to hold out, though, and accompany it with a rich steak for a luxurious meal. Once you do, it will be hard to go back to regular mashed potatoes.
Western European Cuisine
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Alsatian cuisine, strongly based on Germanic culinary traditions, is marked by the use of pork in various forms. Traditional dishes include Baeckeoffe, flammekueche, Choucroute, and fleischnacka. Southern Alsace, also called the Sundgau, is characterised by carpe frite.
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Austrian cuisine is a style native to Austria and composed of influences from throughout the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Regional influences from Italy, Hungary, Bohemia, Germany and the Balkans have had an effect on Austrian cuisine, and in turn this fusion of styles was influential throughout the Empire.
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A mix of sliced potatoes, sliced onions, cubed mutton, beef and pork which have been marinated overnight in Alsatian white wine and juniper berries and slow cooked in a sealed ceramic casserole dish. Leeks, thyme, parsley, garlic, carrots and marjoram are other commonly added ingredients for flavour and colour.
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Banket or letterbanket is a sweet pastry that originated in the Netherlands and is popular in the Christmas season, especially on Saint Nicholas’ eve, 5 December.
Banket is made by rolling pastry dough around an almond paste filling and then baking it. The log is then cut into short lengths for serving, hot or cold. It can also be frozen and enjoyed after the holiday season.
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Like Hollandaise sauce, there are several methods for the preparation of Béarnaise sauce. The most common preparation is a bain-marie method where a reduction of vinegar is used to acidify the yolks. Escoffier calls for a reduction of wine, vinegar, shallots, fresh chervil, fresh tarragon and crushed peppercorns (later strained out), with fresh tarragon and chervil to finish instead of lemon juice. Others are similar.
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In the Netherlands, a Boerenomelet (“farmer’s omelette”) is a popular dish, usually consisting of 2 to 3 eggs, a mixture of sautéed onions, mushrooms, potatoes, capsicums, leeks, garden peas, salt and pepper (for seasoning). The dish has many variations.
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Café de Paris sauce is a complex butter-based sauce served with grilled meats. When it is served with a beef rib or sirloin steak, the resulting dish is known as “entrecôte Café de Paris”. It’s actually Café de Paris butter — which of course melts to a “sauce” on the hot sirloin steak (Entrecôte) it must be served with — which was devised by chef Freddy Dumont in 1941, created specifically to be served with sirloin steak.
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The delicious combination of red cabbage and chestnuts is a common in France and goes well with pork chops or with pork sausages.
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In principle, there is no fixed recipe for this dish – any preparation of hot sauerkraut with meat and potatoes could qualify – but in practice there are certain traditions, favourite recipes, and stereotypical garnishes that are more easily called choucroute garnie than others.
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Faschierter Braten is a traditional Austrian dish, often served with mashed potatoes, caramelised onion rings and sometimes served alongside a salad. It is a tasteful, satiable and inexpensive meal of beef mince and pork mince. Depending on the kind of preparation, the Braten also has other names: Netzbraten when the ground meat mass is wrapped and roasted in a pork net; Falscher Hase when it is formed like the shape of a hare’s back or Stephaniebraten when the roast is additionally filled with a hard boiled egg, pickles, and sausages
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