Thomas Keller of the French Laundry in Yountville, California uses panko bread crumbs to give chicken a crunchy crust. "Pounding chicken breasts to a uniform thickness cuts down on cooking time," he says.
Sautéed German Sausages with Bacon and Apple Sauerkraut
In Germany's Pfalz region, cooks braise sauerkraut with onions, apples, seasonings, a touch of sugar and a little of the region's Riesling wine, creating an addictive accompaniment for juicy weisswurst or bratwurst.
Frankies co-owner Frank Castronovo's wife, Heike, a talented home baker, created Prime Meats's outstanding jam tart with cocoa-flavored pastry. "If she entered it in a country fair in her hometown in Germany, she'd win a blue ribbon," says Frank Falcinelli. "But she has an unfair advantage, since her father is a professional baker in Freiburg, Germany."
Both Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo had early experiences with sauerbraten, the German braised brisket. Castronovo sampled it on trips to Germany; Falcinelli had it at the German deli where he worked as a teenager. The terrific recipe they ultimately perfected is both very sweet and very sour, made with raisins, apples, red wine vinegar and red wine.
"I've always been a fan of any food high in salt and starch," Grant Achatz says,"and soft pretzels right out of the oven are awesome." You can eat these slightly sweet, chewy, dark pretzel sticks plain or with mustard; Achatz goes for ranch dressing.
Fried Semolina Dumplings with Apricots and Apricot Preserves
These griesschnitte (fried semolina dumplings) are moist and not too sweet, a perfect end to a meal. This recipe, from chef Roman Albrecht of The Kosher Classroom in Berlin, is made with margarine and soy milk.
Kuchen is a traditional German fruit- or cheese-filled yeast cake that's common in North Dakota (Nancy Olson says it's in countless church cookbooks) and served at any time of day. This is Olson's adaptation of her grandmother's version. "I love that this is a hearty, rustic, belly-filling pastry; nothing dainty about it," she says.
Crispy Wiener Schnitzel with Lingonberry Preserves
"Schnitzel and Grüner Veltliner isn't a very creative pairing, but I think it's a beautiful one," says Wolfgang Ban. He loves how rich styles of the Austrian white wine still have bright acidity, which is delicious with crispy veal cutlets.
Wolfgang Puck of Los Angeles's Spago makes his schnitzel by deep-frying cutlets of Kurobuta pork, a deeply marbled heritage meat imported from Japan. At home, opt for boneless pork chops from the supermarket, pounding them tender. Pan-fry the schnitzel in a shallow pool of oil instead of deep-frying it.
A Dutch Baby, also known as a German pancake, is a mixture of eggs, flour and whole milk that gets baked in a heavy skillet until it becomes puffy and golden. In the terrific version here, Grace Parisi folds in fresh berries to create a wonderful summer dessert that's also great for breakfast.
Prime Meats is beloved for its handmade pretzel appetizer served with homemade mustard. Frank Castronovo's dumplings, a twist on traditional bread dumplings, are a clever way to use up leftover pretzels. The dumplings are good right after they're boiled but even better when sautéed in butter, too.