Sunday Jun 29, 2008

I Love German Metal

There is something I just love about German heavy metal. American heavy metal tends to be a little much for me. It just comes off overwrought and corny. Metallica's Black Album is my favorite of the lot. But there's just something hopelessly charming about German metal. Rammstein is a good example. You may remember them, as they caught some airtime in the US around 2000 with Du Hast. (It was the only song on alternative radio in German, so it was kinda hard to miss.) There's just something about the tone of the music that makes it so much more palatable to me than the American equivalent. It probably also help that I speak German.

Last time I was in Regensburg, my colleagues took me out to a metal bar, and I found a new favorite song: Wir Werden Alle Sterben by Knorkator. If you love heavy metal, it's definitely worth the $0.99 to download. The gist of the lyrics is that the singer had a conversation with his manager, in which his manager suggested that he needed to write a song to uplift the spirits of his fans. This song is the result of that conversation. The title and first line of the chorus translates to "We're all going to die." Quaint, eh? The juxtaposition of song's super heavy metal riffs with an upbeat, bouncy chorus singing that we're all going to die is just too much to resist. Go check it out!

Monday Sep 03, 2007

10 Minuten Ziehen Lassen -- Duh!

One of the dishes that the mother of an Austrian friend of mine often made for my wife and I while we were visiting was Griessnockerlsuppe. I'm not aware of an American equivalent. It's basically beef broth with little dumplings made from butter, egg, and farina (better known as Cream of Wheat in the US).

While we were still living in Germany, I tried several times to follow the recipe she gave me to make them at home, but invariably, as soon as the nockerl hit the broth, they would come completely unglued, resulting in beef-flavored porridge. After several failed attempts, I finally gave up. I haven't tried making Griessnockerl in over two years. Until tonight.

Since I have long since lost the scribbled recipe from my Austrian friend's mother, I looked up a recipe on the Internet. And there was the answer. Every recipe I found said to let the nockerl dough stand for at least ten minutes before putting them in the boiling water. Works like a charm! Such a simple omission, but oh so important.

Here's a translation of the recipe I used:

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • Twice as much farina as egg (by weight) -- roughly 5 ounces
  • As much butter as egg (by weight) -- roughly 6 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Nutmeg
  • Broth

Direction

  • Mix some of the farina with the butter and beat until creamy.
  • Beat in the egg and the rest of the farina.
  • Season with salt and nutmeg and beat well until a smooth consistency is reached.
  • [Form small dumplings from mixture. Keep them small because they will get larger as they cook.]
  • Let the dumplings rest for 20 minutes.
  • Bring the broth to a boil.
  • Lay the dumplings into the lightly boiling broth.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and cook until done, roughly 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and leave the dumplings in the broth for 3 more minutes.

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