Peter Laufer, executive chef for InterContinental Houston, grew up in Munich, Germany. He demonstrates how to prepare his favorite traditional Christmas dinner which consists of German red cabbage, roasted goose, baked apples, roasted chestnuts and gluehwien (a German holiday wine preparation) with food radio talk show host Cleverley Stone.
For more information about food, wine and dining in Houston, listen to Cleverley’s radio show Saturdays at Noon on Talk 650 AM. (By the way, she gives out free restaurant gift certificates on every radio show!)
German Red Cabbage (Blau Kraut)
Source: Chef Peter Laufer, InterContinental Houston
1 medium head red cabbage, cored and sliced
2 large tart apples, peeled and sliced
1 medium sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 1/2 cups water or chicken broth
3 cups red wine
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
6 whole peppercorns
2 whole allspice
2 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water
1. Melt butter in a pot, add onion and sauté till translucent. Add apple slices and sugar. Reduce with red wine for 3 minutes.
2. Add the red cabbage, vinegar, chicken broth.
3. Wash the oranges and cut in halves. Squeeze out juice and add the orange pieces.
4. Place the peppercorns, allspice, cloves and bay leaf on cheesecloth that’s been folded in half.
Bring up corners of cloth and tie with kitchen string to form a bag. Add bag to cabbage.
5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 1/4 hours.
6. Remove and discard spice bag.
7. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Stir into cabbage mixture.
Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
Roasted Duck or Goose
1 duck or goose
1 gala apple
1 tablespoon mugwort
Salt & pepper
1. Clean duck and remove neck, livers and hearts and rinse thoroughly.
2. Cut orange and apple into cubes and mix with mugwort. Stuff the mixture into the duck.
3. Season the duck with salt and pepper.
4. Pre-heat oven to 340 degrees F.
5. Place duck in roasting pan, breast down, and put into the oven. After 30 minutes turn the duck, breast side up.
Continue roasting for about 60 minutes until done. (For goose-cook 90 minutes) Frequently baste the duck using the fat
from the pan.
German holiday beverage (adult)
1 bottle red wine
1 orange, cut in slices
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup sugar
2 pieces of clove
2 pieces of anise
1. Use a good bottle of red wine to avoid any headaches the next day.
2. Place all ingredients in a pot and heat slowly until the flavors are melded.
Bag of whole chestnuts
1. Preheat oven to 380 degrees F.
2. Rinse Chestnuts. Cut an X on the flat top of each chestnut.
Place nuts on baking tray with a little water. Do not cover nuts with water.
3. Roast nuts for about 15-20 minutes or until soft.
4. Peel chestnuts while hot and eat.
May also be topped with a little butter and salt.
2 gala apples
½ cup almonds
½ cup raisins
½ bread crumbs
2 cups red wine
¼ stick butter, melted
1. Cut the apples in half and remove the core with a spoon.
2. Mix bread crumbs with almonds, raisins and melted butter.
3. Fill each apple half with the mixture.
4. Place apples in a baking dish and add red wine.
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake at 360 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until apples are soft.
5. Serve warm. Goes well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!