When I was growing up, any time someone suggested eating at a German restaurant, my mother would immediately make a comment about the heaviness of the cuisine and offer Vietnamese or Thai as an alternative. I absorbed her words and spent most of my lifetime assuming that German food was something best avoided.
However, in the years since I’ve been living in Philadelphia, I’ve discovered that the spectrum of German food is much broader I had previously understood. This education has come thanks to Brauhaus Schmitz and their Reading Terminal Market deli, Wursthaus Schmitz.
Happily, the goodness of Brauhaus Schmitz is now available to people beyond the wilds of Philadelphia, thanks to New German Cooking. Written by the husband and wife team behind the restaurant, Jeremy and Jessica Nolen, with local food writer Drew Lazor, it’s a gorgeous book that will no doubt make you hungry (the photography by Jason Varney is also fantastic).
The book has nine chapters (guess which one I’m most excited by?):
- Breads & Spreads
- Fish, Shellfish & Poultry
- Meat & Game
- Noodles & Dumplings
- Pickles & Condiments (though I must point out, in the picture above, a threaded mason jar has been topped with a lid from an old time jelly jar. I can see that texturally it looks good, but it irritates the canning stickler in me).
I have a list of ten dishes I’d like to try, with the Pilsner and Pickle Brined Chicken (page 102) being on the very tip top of the list (leftover pickle brine haunts my dreams). I may just go for a two-fer and make the Potato and Sauerkraut Gratin (page 157) to go with it.