Oktoberfest is an annual festival in Munich, Germany. The festival originated on Oct. 12, 1810, in celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, who later became King Louis I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Here are some dishes from the German heritage from allrecipes.com to sample this month.
Papa Drexler's Bavarian Pretzels
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. white sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 1/3 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. baking soda
3 cups water
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. coarse sea salt, or to taste
In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup of flour, yeast, sugar, 2 tablespoons of butter, and 1-1/3 cup water. Let this mixture stand until bubbles begin to form, about 15 minutes. Stir in the salt and gradually stir in the remaining flour until dough can be picked up and kneaded on the counter. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, adding more flour if needed.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces and let them rest for a few minutes. Roll out one piece at a time into a rope about 15 inches long. Loop and twist into that cool pretzel shape. Set on a baking sheet while you roll out the remaining portions.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bring the remaining 3 cups of water to a boil and add the baking soda. Remove from the heat. Dip pretzels into the water bath for about 45 seconds, flipping over about halfway through. Place the soaked pretzels on a greased baking sheet. Brush them with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt and bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
German Potato Pancakes
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup vegetable oil
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Mix in potatoes and onion.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. In batches, drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture into the skillet. Press to flatten. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.
Chicken and Red Cabbage
4 slices bacon
1 Tbsp. bacon drippings
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 lbs. skinless chicken thighs
1 red onion, sliced
1 large apple, cored and sliced
1 head red cabbage, cored and sliced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bacon in a large oven-safe or cast-iron skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on paper towels. When cool, crumble bacon andleave bacon drippings in the skillet.
Whisk flour, kosher salt and smoked paprika together in a bowl. Coat chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown on both sides in the hot bacon fat over medium heat, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate. Drain bacon grease except for 1 tablespoon. Cook and stir onion and apple until onion is translucent and apple is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir red cabbage and bacon into onion-apple mixture, sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt, and cook, stirring often, until cabbage is softened, 5 to 8 minutes.
Pour red wine vinegar and red wine into the skillet. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon and bring cabbage mixture to a boil. Cook until sauce is reduced by half, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Arrange chicken thighs on top of cabbage in the skillet.
Bake in the preheated oven until cabbage is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh should read at least 160 degrees.
Authentic German Potato Salad
3 cups diced peeled potatoes
4 slices bacon
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Place the potatoes into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside to cool.
Place the bacon in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Fry until browned and crisp, turning as needed. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add onion to the bacon grease, and cook over medium heat until browned. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil, then add the potatoes and parsley. Crumble in half of the bacon. Heat through, then transfer to a serving dish. Crumble the remaining bacon over the top and serve warm.
Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to email@example.com or by mail to the Park Rapids Enterprise, 203 Henrietta Ave. North, Park Rapids, MN 56470 and they may appear in a future issue.