Bratkartoffel

IMG_5072

Tools: Saute pan with deep sides, knife, cutting board (if you’re feeling fancy you can use a mandolin or food processor slicing attachment)

Prep time: approximately 10 minutes.

Cook time: Approximately 30 minutes.

Ingredients:  Potatoes-enough to cover pan in single layer

1-2 tbsp saute oil of choice I used sunflower oil for this as I enjoy the flavor and it holds up to the heat well

butter or dairy free cooking spread of choice

1 tsp each of smoked paprika, garlic powder and onion powder (spices always to taste)

1/8 tsp sugar (aids browning)

1/2 tsp salt

Method: Layer thinly sliced, peeled potatoes on pan in single layer. Add sugar and enough water to halfway up your pan. Top with oil, butter or spread, and spices. Raise heat to simmer. Allow water to cook out, uncovered, listen for your potatoes to sizzle. Do not stir until you hear sizzling! Once browned, flip potatoes. Cook until crispy. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy.

Variations: use whatever ‘fat’ you like to brown potatoes. If you’re feeling naughty…you could use rendered bacon grease. (I didn’t say that…) Maybe even goose fat for a French feel.

If you prefer skin on potatoes, try red skin potatoes.

As always, use whatever spices you like.

When my husband and I first moved to Germany as a new married couple, we found a  100 year old house in a small village.

Neighbors kept to themselves and watched to see what the Americans were up to. I made cookies and brought them to the neighbors next-door, the Hollers, unfortunately they were an older couple with an appointment to keep. They graciously, quickly thanked me.

The next day our doorbell was rung for the first time. There stood Mrs. Holler with hair perfectly coiffed, in a lavender sweater. She graciously invited us over that Saturday, at 3 pm. She handed me a sticky note with the date and time so there would be no confusion.

Saturday came, we walked to their house in our best. She ushered us in to a table set with tablecloth, lace overlay, porcelain teacups and China laid with a homemade Black Forest Cake.We were offered coffee, red wine, chilled Champagne, any juice you could think of, brand new boxes of cookies and chocolates were brought out for us.

Her husband, Mr. Holler, knew slightly more English. We found out they had Americans live close by years before, and had shared many fond memories. When we couldn’t understand each other’s meaning between our broken English and German, Mr. Holler would say, “Vergessen” with a wave of his hand and a smile on his face. Vergessen means forget it!

They told us about the family that built the house, how they remembered hiding in our basement when the planes would fly over during the war. Our basement had a rounded ceiling that provided a stronger structure and would survive a blast better. The region we lived in Rheinland Pfalz was actually France before World War 2, Hitler invaded this region as his very first act of war. They brought out photo albums of the family that lived in the house before us. My favorite picture was a teenage girl in the 40’s waving from our attic window.

Mr. Holler was in his 80’s, and underwent dialysis on a weekly basis. He wore a port in his arm for easier treatment.  He constantly spoke of his gratitude for medical technology that allowed him to get treatment and live longer. None of this stopped the Hollers from maintaining an Eden of a garden.There were fruit trees, a tiny house shed, garden swing, a fountain flowing to a pond. We had the fortune of our home looking onto the garden. Herr Holler would go out in his garden with a yellow hard hat to work. Nothing made me smile more than seeing him putter around, safety first.

I visited them often, Mrs. Holler and I talking about many things including food. The base is her recipe. They’re still doing well, Mr. Holler is still puttering around in their garden with his hard hat.

I hope you try this recipe, I hope you enjoy it. If you have any kitchen mishaps, Vergessen!

See my recipes on Pinterest!

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One thought on “Bratkartoffel

  1. These look like the BEST potatoes EVER! I need to try these. 🙂
    I loved reading about the sweet story of your neighbors in Germany!
    They sound like wonderful people!

    Like

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